34 Norwegian Spirit Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

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 October 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
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
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 September 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 January 2010
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 October 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
Sail Date September 2009
Overall this cruise met our expectations. My wife and I are experienced cruisers. This was our eighth cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines and our fifteenth cruise in total. We live in the Boston area so we did not do any Boston sightseeing ... Read More
Overall this cruise met our expectations. My wife and I are experienced cruisers. This was our eighth cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines and our fifteenth cruise in total. We live in the Boston area so we did not do any Boston sightseeing before the cruise and we didn't have to deal with airline connections. Our son drove us to the Boston cruise port and we began the embarkation process at about 12:30 PM. The embarkation process took about an hour and it clearly could have run smoother. I was a little irked that the Lattitudes line moved slower than the non-Lattitudes line. The non-Lattitudes couple directly in front of us when the lines were separated were on the ship ten minutes before us. The ship is fairly elegant, not as tacky as a lot of the new ships. The ship never seemed crowded. There were no problems getting elevators or getting good seats at the shows. There were no waiting lines to get off the ship while in port even when we were tendering. There were no waiting lines at the main restaurants (we ate at 5:30 PM each night and were always seated immediately)and everything worked fairly smoothly at the buffet(there was never more than two people ahead of me when I stood in line for my daily made-to-order omelet). This was the first cruise we were on where trays were not used, so navigating the buffet was a bit cumbersome. Our inside cabin on deck nine was large enough for two people with more than enough space for our clothes and other belongings. We never saw our room steward but the room was always clean and well stocked, and we were never interrupted for service. The food at the buffet and in the two main dining rooms was varied and more than acceptable. We did not eat at any of the specialized restaurants with the cover charges. The service at the dining rooms was excellent. All the shows were entertaining. The two song and dance shows had good music and energetic dancers.The comedian/mentalist was especially good and I spent the whole show saying to myself "How did he do that?". The Second City troupe's skits were funny but I didn't think their improv work was that good.The juggler's act was pretty standard but still worth watching nonetheless. Since we carried our own bags off the ship, disembarkation was a breeze. The only real disappointment we had with this cruise was that we pulled into each port during the early morning before it was light so we really couldn't appreciate what we consider a highlight of every cruise. In La Baie, Quebec we took the ship's excursion to the Saguenay National Park where we took a Zodiac tour of the only fjord in North America. Despite the rainy weather we had an enjoyable day on the river. They gave us heavy water-proof jackets to wear but we still got pretty wet. The Zodiac boats were a good way to see the fjord and the national park. The cost was $105 per person and included a one hour bus ride (in a real yellow school bus) each way. In Sydney, Nova Scotia we spent the morning walking through the old section of the town which was right in front of the area where the ship was docked. We were provided with a free map right at the dock. In the afternoon we took the ship's excursion to the Fortress at Louisbourg. We had a great guide who not only explained the history of the Fortress but also gave us a rich perspective of the history and culture of Cape Breton Island. Because of a mix-up the excursion only cost us $70 per person instead of the publicized price of $86. Taking a cab to the Fortress or renting a car for the trip would have been just as expensive and you wouldn't have had the benefit of the guide. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
This was our 6th cruise, second on Norwegian, first with the "Freestyle" concept. Traveled on our own to Boston and embarkation took over an hour- not a pleasant start. It looked like the first time cruisers line was actually ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise, second on Norwegian, first with the "Freestyle" concept. Traveled on our own to Boston and embarkation took over an hour- not a pleasant start. It looked like the first time cruisers line was actually moving faster then the Latitudes member line. Had a regular window room on Deck 5. The room was clean but showed some signs of wear, especially the bathroom. The finish on the mirror was coming off on the bottom and the toilet room reeked of urine the entire trip. We've had friendlier and better room stewards. Everyday there was something that wasn't done- a glass missing, no ice, no coffee, coffee pot wasn't clean, etc. The entertainment was excellent throughout the cruise. The cruise director Paul was great and the "game" shows were good. We only ate embarkation lunch and breakfasts at Raffles and it was fine. The appetizer selection and quality at Windows/Garden rooms was very good, but the entree selections were few and not too great. Lamb came almost raw once and the lobster tails were like rubber. Ate at La Bistro (French) once and at Shogun (Asian fusion) once and both were very good, especially Shogun. Service was good everywhere we ate. All the public rooms were very nice and tastefully done (not the garish variety). Now the problems. Getting a table for dinner at Windows or Garden dining rooms was kind of ridiculous. If you only had a party of 2 and tried to eat anytime between 6 and 8, you always had at least a 30 minute wait. Everyone that had to wait was always sitting on the stairs in the main stairwell by the entrance to the dining rooms, impeding the progress of anyone who was actually using the stairs to get from one floor to another. It just felt and looked bad. And every single person who was waiting always had the same comment: that this "Freestyle" dining concept should be called "Free-for-all" instead, and that it was just a ploy by NCL to get people to use (and pay for, obviously) the specialty restaurants so that they didn't have to put up with the long waits. What bugs me about the specialty restaurants, is that in addition to the $15-25 cover charge, you have to pay an additional $10 to get some of the "special" item on the menu. Sheesh. We did not take any NCL shore excursions, choosing to go it alone and rent cars at every port to greatly reduce the cost and avoid the bus crowds and travel at our own pace. Be forewarned though if you plan on going off on your own. In the 2 cities where you had to be tendered in (Bar Harbor and La Baie), if you weren't on the very first tender, you had to wait for the NCL tour groups to be tendered in first. In La Baie, we had to wait over 30 minutes for a tender and lost our car rental at the dock and luckily were able to get a rental from another company. Disembarkation in Quebec was a glorious mess, another example of "Free-for-all" instead of "Freestyle". You could chose to either pick a specific time window to disembark or do it free style, and get off when you wanted. We picked the latter and that was a mistake. We waited over 30 minutes, just being in line on the ship itself, and our cabin was only a few feet from the gangway! The line full of people dragging their luggage wrapped around like a snake near the stairwell, and woe to anyone trying to merge into that line from an upper floor via the stairwell or from the cabin hallway on our floor. People were angrily yelling at others to go to the end of the line. There were no NCL crew around to assist. And whose bright idea was it to take one of the 3 elevators out of service for cleaning when people are trying to disembark?? Once we actually got off the ship, clearing customs went fairly quickly, for us, who had our luggage, but those who had a set time to get off and left their luggage for pickup by staff, had to go elsewhere to retrieve their bags, adding to the the time. And I don't know why this happened, but apparently there weren't enough taxis to handle everyone, so the line to get a taxi was at least another 30 minutes long. We didn't want to wait, so we started walking to the city and eventually flagged a cab outside the port. One note about the age of the average passenger on this cruise. We're in our mid 50's, so we are no spring chickens, but we felt like we were one of the youngest couples on the cruise. The average age seemed to be in the mid 60's. Most were experienced cruisers (half the ship were Latitudes members). It wasn't a problem for us, but after about 11 PM, the ship was sort of dead. Nobody hanging out at the late night dance bar and even the casino was mostly empty, with the tables closed due to the lack of activity and only a few slots players around. Definitely not a "party" ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
This might be a little long, but it's in segments so you can skip a lot if you want. This was our 3rd time on NCL and my mothers 1st. We are 48, 51 and she is 75. We left on Thursday and stayed at Days Hotel for the free shuttle. ... Read More
This might be a little long, but it's in segments so you can skip a lot if you want. This was our 3rd time on NCL and my mothers 1st. We are 48, 51 and she is 75. We left on Thursday and stayed at Days Hotel for the free shuttle. Friday did the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Jersey side has smaller groups than the NY side. Saturday took a shuttle to Newark Airport to NY on Newark Liberty shuttle $15 round trip (seniors/disable) $25 reg. Did the Empire State building, then did Gray Line Bus Hop On/Off tour. Saw everything we wanted (&didn't want) to see and ready for the laid back cruise! Way to many people in NY! EMBARKATION: Got to port @ 11:30am and on the boat by 12:10pm very easy. Went right to our room to drop off our carry ons and off to check out the ship & EAT! Ate at Raffles and by 1:15pm the rest of our luggage were at the room. Drill was @ 3:30pm and left at 4pm. Sailed pass the Statue of Liberty on the starboard side. Ate to late for 1st show "Home Free" but saw the last song and they sounded GREAT! CABIN: Balcony BA, standard room, no fridge, coffee maker, hair dryer, 2 electrical outlets, safe, sofa pulled out to a double bed-absolutely no room when pulled out!- soap and shampoo dispenser in the shower, soap dispenser on the sink, shoe mit and bottle of lotion. There were towels for only 2 people, but let the cabin stewards know and boom we had more-They were GREAT! Lots of storage room, lots of hangers, and 2 robes. TV Channels: FOX News, CNN, ESPN, Cartoon Network, TNT, TCM= No local channels, nbc,cbs, or abc! SHIP: Very nice. Asian motif. Grand Centrum is very roomy and large. Stardust Theater is at the back and you do feel the engines (not a big deal) Maharajah's Casino I like the fact that it's in the front and I don't have to walk thru it to get somewhere-very smokey, nice looking casino. Fitness room is small but has everything, you do have to go through the spa room to get to it, that's a little strange. Windows diningroom is very elegant, Garden diningroom is very nice, but not much views. For breakfast, Garden's only allows guest with balconies. Blue Lagoon Cafe' was very small. Specialty restaurants looked nice, but never went in. Pool area very nice, and the kids pool area was very cool! Internet Cafe's printer wasn't working from day one and was never fixed. When asked about it, this was the 1st and only person that came across rude. IMPORTANT: Don't buy your pictures until Wed/Thurs you get 20% off!!! 5x7 $10 8x10 $25 FOOD/ENTERTAINMENT: I thought the food was very good, and the entertainment was good. Singers "Home Free" and illusionist Richard Burr were GREAT! Comedy of Peter Sasso was very good, but "second city" should have stayed in the city. The music around different areas were very good. PORTS OF CALL: MARTHA'S VINEYARD: You tender at Oak Bluff. Left ship on tender about 9am and walked to info booth to find out where to pick up public transportation $3 all day rides for seniors/disable $6 all others. Went to Edgartown and walked to lighthouse-3/4 mile. Once there you can get a good picture of the ship far off. Went back to Oak Bluff to shop and see the "gingerbread houses" very nice area. Shopping prices were really good. Came back to ship by 1:30pm Raffles very busy but easy to find seats out side. Latitudes Party @ 5pm FREE drinks for 1 hour-any drinks. Got to Windows @ 6:15 and didn't get out till 8:20! Food is good, but service is slower than reg style dining. Saw the 9:30 show...ok BOSTON: Got there about 8am NCL offered shuttle for $17pp round trip to downtown. We took a taxi $15 for the 3 of us to the aquarium area-many tour booths. We did City View Hop On/Off tour w/harbor cruise for $32pp Good tour, we got off about 1 mile away from port-you can pick up public transportation (silverline) for about $2 and it will take you right in front of the ship or walk. To short of time here! Would have liked 5 hours in Martha's Vineyard & 8 hours in Boston. HALIFAX: Walked to town, very easy. Get whale watch tours early, even online before you get there, they fill up quickly. We walked the town then got the "Hopper Tour" kinda like "Ducky Tours" $24pp good tour. Walked a little more then hired a college aged kid in a rickshaw to get the 3 of us back to the ship. Poor Kid! $20 and it was worth it (for us!) After dinner 2 shows that night were the illusionist Richard Burr-GREAT!!! ST. JOHN: Rainy & foggy. 45 minutes to get off the ship, 1 ramp and many wheelchairs and handicaps. There is a large tent set up for tours and a separate tent for locals that sell crafts and souvenirs. There was a shuttle to town $5 round trip and taxi's for hire @ $50 per hour. We got Ray Flowers as a taxi driver (royscab@hotmail.com) & was a great salesman for St. John. He took us inside the county courthouse (built in 1829), Trinity Church, Fort Howe which over looks the harbor (great picture of ship), to the reversing falls, and on to the Bay of Fundy to see boats on the bottom of sea floor at low tide. There is a little gift shop that sells art pictures that are really good and great prices! My husband walked out to see the caves while my mom & I ate seafood chowder w/biscuit $6.99 Rain quit by about 1:30pm and the fog finally lifted enough to get some great pictures. Didn't make it to the show and it was Chocoholic Buffet night and we missed that too! Done it before so I didn't miss it. It is great to see at least once though. Sea day: Lots to do or not! When we went to dinner we got there about 5:40 and missed the 7pm illusionist show Richard Burr! Went to Galaxy of the Stars for the comedy of Peter Sasso and it was standing room only. DISEMBARKATION: You sail right passed the Statue of Liberty again (this time on port side) and she is amazing at sunrise! Got into port @ 7:15/7:30 We do express disembarkation and left about 9:30/9:45 VERY EASY!! All in all this was a wonderful cruise. Staff, food, and ship were great. Dinner service a little slow at times and again I think it's the free style dining, there's no time limit. My mom's pull out sofa bed broke @ 3:30am one morning but my husband is so handy he fixed it good enough that she could go back to bed. I think he thought she might have to sleep with us. He was going to do anything!!!! We told our cabin steward and they had it totally fixed the next day. We even had someone call us that night to check on every thing. The only thing I still can't get use to is baseball caps, tennies, jeans ratty or nice in the diningroom, but hey I'm on old 48! I wanted to ask one guy if he was the one that was going to fix my mom's bed, but then I realized that the maintenance guys dress better! Bada Boom....I'm here all night folks!! Great cruise, and happy cruising. Read Less
Sail Date October 2008
Background Information This was our fourth cruise on the Spirit and 6th on NCL so I think it's fair to say that we know her pretty well and, yes, we love NCL. We hadn't sailed on her, however, for about 2 years so we were ... Read More
Background Information This was our fourth cruise on the Spirit and 6th on NCL so I think it's fair to say that we know her pretty well and, yes, we love NCL. We hadn't sailed on her, however, for about 2 years so we were curious to see what shape she's in these days. We were pleasantly surprised to find her in quite good shape, despite the less-than-enthusiastic reviews you might read here. We don't nit-pick nor do we purposely look for bad stuff, as some reviewers seem to do. We are charter members of the Sunshine Cruisers so if you're the type of person who totally freaks when your waiter can't remember your favorite beverage on the second night or your room steward forgets to leave a towel animal for your kids then STOP READING NOW! "Any day on any cruise ship from any cruise line is better than a day at home." is our philosophy. Travel to Port of Embarkation/Embarkation We live on the Jersey Shore so we take the train into NYC & catch a cab from Penn Station to the cruise ship embarkation terminal on 12th Avenue. NCL gives you a lot of choices in ships sailing out of NYC (Spirit, Dawn, Gem, Jewel, to name a few) so this is great for us. On the 28th there were 3 NCL ships departing from NYC; the Spirit, the Jewel & the Dawn. We got there around noon & embarkation was smooth; no long waits. We shared our area with the Dawn's pax while the Jewel's pax were one building over. We arrived at the terminal at 11:50AM & we were sitting in Windows having lunch by 12:45PM. Unlike other cruises the crew was not trying to herd us up to the buffet on deck 12 so we were able to go right to Windows. We also got our free glass of bubbly, courtesy of NCL & Freestyle 2.0! Our cabin was available right when we got on; some other pax had to wait until 2. Our luggage was delivered to our cabin by 5PM which was a little later than usual. Ship Info We absolutely love the Spirit because she's...well different. We've sailed on the Dawn & Gem and while we enjoy the new amenities that NCL has added to these bigger ships we still like the "feel" of the Spirit and the Asian decor. It would be fair to say, however, that she's starting to show her age a bit; some windows are fogged over, the carpeting is getting worn in spots and the beds and linen could use the Freestyle 2.0 upgrade. The crew, however, does an absolutely great job of maintaining her; fresh paint and varnish, deck scrubbing, etc. We hear she's going in for an extended dry dock in November so we'll look forward to seeing her after that. Activities There's plenty to do aboard ship. NCL has started an "NCL U" that features knowledgeable pax lecturing on different subjects. There were yoga & pilates classes. There were movies shown in the conference rooms on the Deck 8 (e.g., "Iron Man", "What Happens in Vegas") sometimes during the afternoon and every night at 10PM. And of course the cruise staff offers Bingo... Service As stated in Dining the service there was great and overall service on the ship was fab. There did seem to be less crew members around than we saw on previous cruises on the Spirit but this didn't detract in any way from the overall experience. Our cabin was made up every day by noon and turned down each night with towel animal & chocolate on each pillow! Stateroom We had cabin 9151 an inside cabin. We always go the inside cabin route because the only thing we use our cabin for is sleeping, showering and cleaning up. We didn't notice any excess wear and tear due to age. As stated earlier, the beds and bed linen could use an upgrade; the beds are smaller than we had on the Gem last year. I guess that's because Spirit was originally intended for smaller Asian pax. If they upgrade to the same as we had on the Gem we'll be happy. One note; one of my bosses had a suite on the Spirit for a CTN earlier this year & thought her cabin carpeting was looking a bit threadbare. So depending on your cabin you may notice some aging. The ship is, after all, 10 years old now! Hopefully the dry docking next month will address these issues! Dining We dined in either the Garden or Windows for lunch and dinner; no specialty restaurants this cruise for us. They used to offer a half-price on the surcharge if you dined before 6:30 but that was not offered on this cruise so we skipped the specialty ones this time. The food was great. We had absolutely no complaints, except for one lunch & that was due to our cluelessness in ordering. We had lobster dishes on 2 occasions. The Beef Wellington was fabulous, as were the escargot apps. The wait staff seemed a bit harried but unfailingly polite and attentive. They've eliminated the comment cards which disappointed us a bit; we like to write up a server who does an exceptional job (and even those who just do their job well!). DW remarked that there seemed to be less wait staff than on our previous cruises on the Spirit. We did not notice any difference in the quality of service, however, which was great. One pet peeve; the new $10/pp surcharge for LaTrattoria. C'mon, NCL!! I could see charging extra for LaCucina on the Gem (which you didn't do when we sailed on her) but LaTrattoria is just "carved" out of Raffles every night!! Speaking of Raffles we ate breakfast there each morning and "snacked" for late lunches and dinners (hey! We get hungry late afternoons & after the shows in the evenings!! lol). They've improved the wait times for ordering eggs, omelets & waffles so DW was able to get her western omelet in 5 minutes or less. The food quality was quite good for all three meals; better than our previous trips on the Spirit but not quite as good as the Gem. If you're used to the buffet on the newer Jewel class ships be prepared; Raffles is the "traditional" ships buffet sans stations like you see on the newer ships. It does have its own unique charm, though, and we enjoy eating there. The Blue Lagoon was our "go to" place after 10PM every night. One thing that makes the Spirit different than her sister ships (and another reason we like her) is the location of the Blue Lagoon. On the Spirit it's on Deck 7, right on the main passageway between the Casino & the Grand Centrum. So it's great to sit & "people watch" (one of our favorite pastimes!!). The quality of the food here has also improved since our last voyage on the Spirit and the menu has also changed (Hint: try the new panini sandwich!!!). It's a great place for a snack and late afternoon/late evening meal. We actually saw people eating dinner there on lobster night!! Chocoholic Buffet? Yup! In Windows on the 4th night of the cruise. Yum! We had one BBQ in the pool area on embarkation day which was quite good. The colder weather precluded any other outdoor food activities. Entertainment The new CD for the Spirit is Mr. Iain Bagshaw. Yes, he really does spell his name with an extra "i". He and his team kept things hopping for the 6 days. They held the obligatory "Newlywed and Not-so-Newlywed" Game as well as "The Quest" up in the Galaxy of the Stars. Newlywed is always fun to watch. We're not Questers but we know there are LOTS of you out there who are so we mention that they did have The Quest on this cruise (the last night, to be precise). We don't do Bingo but sat in on a couple of sessions while reading up in the Galaxy & it sounded like fun. Night#1 - featured an a capella group named Home Free that was absolutely terrific. They also gave two half-hour shows nightly in Champagne Charlie's. Check them out if they're on your cruise!! The NCL Production Company did two shows; On Broadway & On the Radio. Both were very lively & entertaining. The dancing & singing was up to their usual high standards. Comedy & juggling was provided by Peter Sasso who also was a panelist on the Liars Club. Sasso is a hoot so make sure you see him. He did one show in the Stardust & three in the Galaxy of the Stars. Second City did one set-piece comedy show in the Stardust & three completely improv shows up in the Galaxy. DW & I find that Second City runs hot and cold; we've seen them on 4 of the last NCL cruises we've been on. I like improvisational comedy a lot but DW doesn't care much for it. We both agreed that the Second Cityers were definitely "on their game" this cruise, though. One of them was on the Liars Club panel and completely stole the show! Karaoke is now being held in O'Henry's Pub on Deck 7 almost every night from 8 till 10. We like Karaoke a lot (listening, that is, NOT doing it!!!) but found that it was near next to impossible to get a seat if you got there after 8:30. Iain & crew might consider moving it to a bigger venue although there is a LOT to be said for the intimacy of O'Henry's. If you've never been in this pub it's on Deck 7, next to the Reception Desk & resembles an English Pub right down to the dart board! It's also the ONLY place on the Spirit that I found where you can get draft beer!! (I got spoiled on the Gem last year; draft beer was available in most of the bars on that ship). Fish & Chips & Buffalo wings are also available! Our last cruise on the Spirit featured a duo named Jose & Patty. We were disappointed not to see them again this time but also know that shipboard entertainers move around a lot. Has anyone seen them lately and on what ship? Shore Excursions We get off the ship but generally do NOT do the NCL-sponsored excursions; we prefer to "do our own thing" ashore. As such we cannot comment accurately on the quality of the NCL excursions that they sell. We feel, though, that they're WAY overpriced for what you get. As an example, in Halifax they offered a hop-on-hop-off bus tour of 90 minutes for $52 each. We've done these all over Europe & the US & paid any where from $30 in Cadiz (2.5 hours) to $70 in NYC (4 hours or longer). We had never been to Halifax or St. John so it was worth getting off & walking around. NCL had shuttles available to take you into the center of each at reasonable prices ($10 for both of us). Check out the market in St John, btw! It'll remind you of the Public Market in Seattle, WA. I grew up in the Boston area & summered on the Cape as a kid so Boston & Martha's Vineyard were no mystery to me. NCL offered a shuttle bus to Quincy Market at $17 each which isn't too bad a price. You can then take the "T" anywhere else in BeanTown you care to go & that's what we did. Getting off at Martha's Vineyard requires a tender. CD Iain told us that 3 of the last 4 cruises couldn't stop there due to the weather. This time the Captain decided to chance it & we were planning on getting off. Early tenders are reserved for those going on NCL excursions. After that it's "first come, first served". You can pick up tender tix in Champagne Charlie's on Deck 8 after 9:30AM (or whenever they announce it). We were slated for Tender #9 but were delayed due to rough seas & high wind conditions. As the morning wore on we decided to forego getting off which was probably a smart decision. The seas & wind continued to get rougher & at 2PM they cancelled all outbound tenders; they would only tender pax returning from the Vineyard. As it was we were supposed to up anchor by 5:45 but didn't till an hour later. Part of the problem also was some old fishing cables became tangled in the ship's anchor!! The Captain at the final show that night introduced to the crowd 4 deck engineers who used acetylene torches to cut us loose. He said that they "saved the day" and that anyone who had flights out of NY the next day before noon should thank these 4 gentlemen because if not for them we'd have been 3 hours late arriving in NYC! Disembarkation We always do the Express Disembarkation on every cruise we take if it's available. This is where you carry your own luggage off & you usually get off well before any other pax so this is a great feature! This time it wasn't advertised in the Freestyle Daily so I had to ask at Reception. The lady there just signed us right up & that was that! On Saturday morning we had breakfast in Raffles at 8:30 (along with 1000 or so of our fellow pax…lol), went back to our room at 9. The ship cleared Customs at 9:45 or so, we got off at 10. BTW, here's a hint for taxi takers; do NOT use the taxi stand at the ship terminal!! Just exit the terminal from the street level, walk across 12th Avenue to the taxi stand there. We were in Penn Station by 10:15 and home by 1PM. One weird thing we encountered this cruise. Because Boston was our point-of-entry back into the US we all had to get up on Thursday morning & march up to the Galaxy to be processed by US Customs (foreigners/resident aliens went to the Stardust Theater). It was very organized; NCL excursionists went first then everyone else by deck. You just had to show your passport/ID and your ship's card which then was tagged with a red circle. The weird thing was that DW & I had to do this again when we left the ship terminal in NY. I dunno if this was because we were Express Disembarking or whatever but it seemed weird having to go through this twice. Not to mention having to get up early…well 9AM is early for us on a cruise…lol Summary We can't wait until next year to cruise on the Spirit after she gets her Freestyle 2.0 make-over in dry dock next month. The Spirit is a truly unique ship in the NCL fleet so if you're used to cruising on the Jewel-class ships like the Gem, Pearl, Star, Dawn, etc. you really should give the Spirit a try. We'll be definitely looking at her for next year and looking forward to reading reviews of her after the dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date September 2008
This was our 8th cruise, first time with NCL. My husband and I are both in our early 50's. Our 26 year old daughter joined us. Our cruise was from New York City to Halifax Nova Scotia, St. John New Brunswick, Boston and ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise, first time with NCL. My husband and I are both in our early 50's. Our 26 year old daughter joined us. Our cruise was from New York City to Halifax Nova Scotia, St. John New Brunswick, Boston and Martha's Vineyard MA. We flew in from Nebraska to New York City one day early and stayed at the Marriott in Time Square..close to the pier. Took the NY city double decker bus tour for $41.00. It was about 3 hours but you can get off at several stops to walk around and catch another bus later. We headed to the cruise terminal around 10am by Taxi. Wow that was interesting! Cost and driving! Embarkation was very easy. Bags where checked outside. We had a penthouse suite (almost free thanks to using Norwegian's credit card rewards program) so we where treated as VIP's. After taking a cheesy picture in front of a screen..not entering the ship..we went to the check-in counter which went smoothly. I had printed off our cruise E-doc, had our ID's passports and a credit card for our on board purchases. VIP's where put in a separate room with all kinds of cakes, sandwiches, and drinks. Our concierge Humberto brought in our Cruise cards and visited with everyone. We got to be the first on the boat at 12:30pm lead by our concierge Humberto which felt kinda awkward walking by everyone else waiting. Our cabin wasn't ready until around 2pm so we walked around the ship with our free Mimosas and ate alittle lunch in Cagney's steakhouse, another VIP perk. My husband had a very good steak, and us girls tried the lobster, crab grilled sandwich. SUNDAY: STATEROOM: Our suite was called the Libra suite AFT 9710. What a great cabin! Really Overwhelming! It had it's own hallway, doorbell, a fancy bar, espresso machine, bottle of champagne on ice, fruit and fresh flowers on the table. The pretty little table had four chairs, there was a loveseat sofa sleeper (where our daughter slept), two other chairs, TV, DVD player and a larger than normal balcony. The second room had a pocket door with mirrors on both sides, king size bed (old pilly sheets), mirrored ceiling OH MY!, mirrored sliding closet doors, TV and a curtain that separated the bedroom from the bathroom. The bathroom was the best!! Whirlpool tub (HEAVEN), black marble vanity with two sinks and mirrors, makeup vanity area with a chair, enclosed toilet area and a huge shower (6 people could fit) with a window inside and a beautiful tiled floor. We choose this room because of the third person and because we had almost enough points..had to pay around $150 extra per person. We had to ask for a converter box for my hairdryer and camera plugins. No problem, they brought one right away. We sat on our balcony drinking our champagne as we sailed out of the New York Harbour past the Statue of Liberty. Beautiful sight. Met our Butler Denny(which we never used), Room Steward Mario(Yikes..not good) and Maid. 3:30 was Muster drill. Later ate in Windows dining room, food was pretty good. Played some in the casino and went to the 70's party. We headed to bed NOT knowing what we were to encounter. The sofa sleeper was made up..but oh boy ..what a mess!! The Room Steward had put the 2 inch thin mattress on top of two cushions that weren't long enough for the bed frame and he had just thrown the blankets on top. Well no one could sleep on that so I called three times to get someone to make it up properly..or at least try. This was at midnight and finally another Room Steward came. He was appalled at the job and brought in a twin mattress to lay on top of the frame and put the thin mattress over that. He was pretty upset at Mario. MONDAY..AT SEA: Very rough sea conditions, we rocked all night. Slept in. My husband ate breakfast at Raffles which he thought was ok. My daughter and I headed off to play bingo later that morning. We played the paper cards but noticed people where only winning if they used the handset bingo machines..which were costly. Ate lunch in Cagney's. On our way back to our cabin that morning I was stopped by an angry Room Steward Mario asking me why I threw our bed pillows and comforter on the floor. Had to tell me they where new and so on! He was so rude..I just said I was too hot in the night and told him goodbye. During the afternoon I placed in the slot tournament which was fun. That evening we had VIP seats by the windows in Windows Dining room for our formal night. Humberto had made the arrangements. We had lobster (small)..nothing too memorable. Saw the show On Broadway with the dancers which was OK. Also saw the Not so Newlywed game which was funny in the Galaxy of the Stars. TUESDAY: HALIFAX: We had the Titanic Shore Excursion planned and enjoyed it very much. Very sad stories to hear. Toured the museum and cemetery. Drove by the Citadel as well. Weather was beautiful! Went to the White Hot party that evening. Our daughter had fun but my husband and I felt it was only a party to sell favored vodkas. The dancers where on the floor for the first 45 minutes just swaying around..so no one was dancing. WEDNESDAY: ST. JOHNS: We thought we would rent a car and drive to Monction. My ancestors are from there and I had hoped to see a museum there..but the cars where all rented out. Never thought to rent ahead of time. So we got on the Bay of Fundy tour which turned out to be great! Ate the World's best seafood chowder in St. Martins. Went to the Old City Market and tried Dulse..a seaweed treat that they eat instead of chips. Had a send off from a Bagpiper from the Pier. When we got back our Room Steward quizzed my husband about double locking our door. Well, our dead bold hadn't worked the night before and we forgot to put out the makeup my room sign..so the room steward couldn't get in. He accused my husband of breaking it. Mario was very nosey every time you saw him in the hallway too, we started using a different hallway to avoid him. I filled out a comment card on his rude service. That evening we tried the Garden Dining room. Again ok. My husband saw the Magic show and enjoyed it. Also went to the Chocoholic buffet but everything tasted the same. Pretty but not great to eat! Played the rest of the night in the casino and won $2000.00 on a video poker machine. THURSDAY: BOSTON: We ate breakfast in Cagney's steak house. Had the best crab cakes eggs benedict. We took the city and Cambridge tour. Went to the Old North Church, Quincy Market, some of the Freedom trail and Harvard. Very nice tour. I played in the slot tournament and won to my surprise! $405 dollars. My husband won $700 played 3 card poker..first time for him. FRIDAY: We were to go to Martha's Vineyard but was cancelled due to rough seas. So we had extra activities like bingo, movies, etc. Went to the Caribbean cruise giveaway bingo..didn't win the cruise but I won $450 on a bingo..after purchasing the $89.00 "I want it all" bingo handset. We tried to eat a hamburger at Bier Garten Grill but they were awful..so we had chicken fingers at Blue Lagoon Cafe and they were good. My daughter won $500 dollars playing video poker that evening. Magical show was just ok. There was a farewell show in the evening which started off bad. It was crew that entertained..poor dancers, singers, but got better at the end when the captain, crew, chefs had a little parade on stage. SATURDAY: Disembarkation went fine. We ate breakfast in Cagney's and stayed in our room until around 10am. They were 20 minutes behind in disembarking. We took off our own luggage, but we could have had VIP first off but our plane wasn't leaving until 4:30. Room Steward did forget to leave us a customs form to fill out so we had to run after one. SERVICE: Lacking and alot of staff hard to understand. Humberto was the best tho! Casino staff at the card tables were dull, not talkative. SHIP: Very nice and clean. Asian theme. Our room was out of this world! Alot of hand sanitizer stations. Windows Dining room was beautiful with the large windows on the back of the ship, Garden dining room ok, Bier Garten Grill ok, Raffles Court bad, Cagney's steakhouse excellent food, Shogun no one ever in there, Blue Lagoon Cafe crowded and is located in a strange place..people walking thru, bumping into wait staff and people waiting for food, but food was very good. Room Service was slow and had a few rude people on the phone taking orders. Casino had small buffet set up at times. Gym almost non existing! Husband was disappointed. IN CONCLUSION: Would we travel NCL again? Probably not. We have done Royal Caribbean three times and we seem to prefer their ships. More things to do onboard. As you can tell we played alot of Bingo and Casino due to lack of things my husband likes to do. Rock wall, pool tables, basketball, culinary shows (NCL had one, but for a charge), kitchen tours, crafts, etc. We didn't really like free style either. It's nice to visit with the same people about how your day goes and to have the same wait staff. Waiters didn't give you any real special attention on NCL(they don't have to) their tips don't depend on it. Tips are added on your bill, no personal tipping..but you can. I had our Room Steward's tips removed. Formal night didn't feel formal..not like other cruises. Food was ok, better in the restaurants that charge. But we didn't sit and wait for our food like I had read on the boards. We never used the charging restaurants at night..we ate free. We got to use Cagney's for breakfast and lunch for no fees due to the VIP penthouse. Raffles buffet was terrible!! One night they only had Asian no variety. One good thing..we cleaned up in the casino! Entertainment was fair except for the four young men who sang by the champagne bar were great. We did love the ports of call we visited and would go to New England again but on a different cruise line. Even with the little bumps we still had a great time!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2008
My sister and I have always taken escorted tours with Globus,CIE,e.t.c. So this time we elected to cruise. We chose the New England/Canada cruise with Norwegian Spirit and really looking forward to our first time cruising. Embarkation this ... Read More
My sister and I have always taken escorted tours with Globus,CIE,e.t.c. So this time we elected to cruise. We chose the New England/Canada cruise with Norwegian Spirit and really looking forward to our first time cruising. Embarkation this was a nightmare as the ship was not ready for boarding. After 2hrs. we finally began to board but couldn't go to our rooms as they were not ready. We sat in the lobby for another hour.Stateroom we found the room to be cozy and the bed very comfortable. The balcony nice for two people.Ship Info the ship seems well maintained and the decor Asian and understated. That was fine for us as we are not into glitzy.Dining-the two main dining rooms are Windows and Garden. The menus are identical.We found the food mediocre at best and the daily selections disappointing. We ordered the shrimp cocktail one night and were presented with shrimp that were so tiny they looked like those one would get in a can. Very fishy so they went back. We tried their buffet restaurant Raffles for breakfast and at 6:30 am the food was cold and the scrambled eggs were some sort of egg substitute product. They haven't figured out how to keep food warm as we had the same problem at lunch. The selections were strangely disguised in highly seasoned sauces. All in all ,just bad cafeteria fare. We did have an excellent meal however at one of the specialty restaurants Le Bistro. It was outstanding but there is a cover charge for all the specialty restaurants and we felt cheated having to pay for good food.Activities these consisted of the usual lounging at the pool, playing shuffleboard, bingo and darts. We did attend the art presentation and lecture and found it interesting and enjoyable. Staff and Service-no complaints here. The staff was very accommodating and always pleasant.Entertainement-the theatre was always too crowded,not enough seating and people walked out on the magic and comedian shows as they were cheesy. We did go to the casino and had fun. There was a party that was soooo loud many left after a few minutes but there was a nice band that played in the lounge area where the gift shops are located. There are few shops and very high end so we just browsed.Shore Excursions We booked 4.The first was the Nova Scotia lobster lunch.It was very nice and the scenery beautiful at Peggy's Cove. We also enjoyed the Boston scenic and harbor tour. We were disappointed that we were unable to stop for shopping on these tours. Now for the nightmare tour in ST.John. This was a city highlights/harbor cruise. We boarded our tour bus and proceeded to do the city portion.We then boarded our boat for the harbor tour. When this was over I asked the tour guide which of the buses I should board. He told me there would be no bus and that it was a lovely day to walk back to our ship. I thought he must be joking as it was a mile to our ship. Everyone was angry as we paid 90.00 each and should be escorted back by bus as all the other tours. I forgot to mention that we had people with canes and walkers and I myself cannot walk long distances due to back problems. My sister has knee problems and we are both over 65 as most of us on the tour.It took us 40 min. to get back and I was in excruciating pain only to have to climb 3 uphill gangplanks. That evening was ruined for us as we were in too much pain to go to dinner. We stayed in our room and went to sleep as the TV only had 3 working channels.Disembarkation - this was better than getting on and we found our luggage quickly.We paid for airport trans.at booking so we waited for the same minivan that brought us there.However they decided to use busses and the process took over one hour. The driver takes us to LGA only to realize she can't drive us to our terminals as the bus is too high to clear the entrance !!!! Once again We paid for door to door service and instead we were all dropped off 1/2 mile away from the main terminal. So luggage in tow we all started the long journey to the terminal. If not for my sister's help I would still be there.We should not have purchased our transfer vouchers thru NCL we simply should have called a taxi but NCL told me the taxis charge double. This is not the case. I also need to mention that we never got to go to our last port Martha's Vineyard. The water was too choppy for tendering. I can't blame NCL for this but we were so disappointed. The excursion we booked was the only one that allowed time to browse the local shops,and soak in the local flavor-not to mention enjoy a nice seafood lunch. So We have no souvenirs or pictures of the main reason we booked this tour. This one had Martha's Vineyard on the itinerary. I admit I am a novice at cruising but I would have been happy if we could have docked somewhere else.Needless to say I will stick to my escorted bus tours . Read Less
Sail Date September 2008
Two weeks ago we had no idea we would be going on a cruise anywhere. A year ago around this time we went on RC's Vision of the Seas to Alaska where we fell in love with cruising. As a result, I'm on a lot of email lists. The ... Read More
Two weeks ago we had no idea we would be going on a cruise anywhere. A year ago around this time we went on RC's Vision of the Seas to Alaska where we fell in love with cruising. As a result, I'm on a lot of email lists. The magic email deal came in and we snapped at the bait. Next thing we knew, we were going to Canada and New England within the week. We flew to NYC at 7am the morning of the cruise (Sept. 14). Luck was with us that weather conditions were perfect and US Airways was flying on schedule. We seemed to be the only people claiming baggage...perhaps because US Air is now charging per checked bag? But who doesn't have to check a bag when you're going on a cruise? Even if it is Freestyle? In other words, we were obviously not on a plane with fellow-cruisers. Off to the Terminal we went via a scary scary cab ride. Tip for fellow nervous cab-riders...sit BEHIND the driver. Therefore you cannot see just how fast he is going. It cost us around $40 (before tip) to get to the ship, and around $30 to get back to LGA. (that cab driver was much nicer and not so angry). I don't know if the difference was because of drivers, the route, the time of day or whatever, but we were glad to arrive both places safely. Since everything went so smoothly we were at the Terminal very early. I had not been aware that the Spirit does a cruise to nowhere on Saturday nights, so instead of being able to get on really early, we waited for those passengers to get off. Our luggage was taken from us immediately, so that was a nice relief, but the Terminal did not appear to be too close to anything within walking distance. We tried wandering a bit, but learned quickly that we were not welcome to be near the ships, and it was a bit confusing to how to get where we could wander. Once we did get outside, we didn't go too far, as we were unfamiliar with the area, and didn't want to get too far anyway. We ended up just waiting in the terminal. There are very few chairs until NCL lets you through the first part of security. Once through the initial line, you are led to getting your picture taken (in the Terminal, not on the ship, which was different from RC)...then we went on to check in with our credit card. Very quick and efficient! Here is when there are seats, water and cookies, a very friendly, funny guy keeping us informed. We were allowed to board starting around 12:10. Even though we were some of the first people there we were given number 10, which meant a short wait. I'm assuming the people before us that arrived after us were probably Lattitudes members. Once on the ship,we were greeted with staff members holding trays of champagne and mimosas. I asked for champagne, and was told mimosa. I asked again, and was told mimosa. So perhaps that's again where a Lattitude membership might pay off? They were saving them for somebody. No big deal. The mimosa, by the way, was perfectly good. CABIN: We had an inexpensive inside cabin on deck 8, which is primarily a public deck. We loved it. Robert attended to our every needs. We didn't have any soap gel in our shower, so we left a note, and it was certainly there when we got back. We also asked to have our twin beds pushed together, and he was happy to oblige. (We, of course, tipped extra, but were never made to think that we would not have gotten our wishes had we not have tipped). Our cabin was cozy and comfortable. No complaints. I will say that the walls are THIN. You hear the closet doors next door, and well, anything else that might be next door as well. Who cares, though, really? Our room was cleaned well and regularly. We felt very cared for. Towel animal count was three. Funny story (well, I thought so)....one night, my husband fell asleep and a minty smell woke him up. He had gone to sleep on the Andes mint! Watch out, cause chocolate spreads! So here we were the next morning, and I'm laughing hysterically at the chocolate stain, until I realized that Robert would have no clue which one of us had done it! So, I placed my makeup kit on my side of the bed, hoping he would know it wasn't me. That night...we come back to the room, and the towel animal of the day was a cobra. It was standing tall and proud, upright...and its' eyes were Andes mints. Oh my gosh I laughed and laughed to think that we were being shown where to SEE the mints and not lay on them! I realize it was just a coincidence, but it was a funny moment for us. FOOD: We only ate in the non-specialty restaurants. That's not to say the specialty ones didn't look spectacular, because they did. However, we were happy with all the others. The first meal on ship I had a Cooking Light Tilapia dish with a citrus sauce, squash and rice. Plus salad. The salad was very fresh. I would've probably preferred a bit less dressing, but that would be fixed easily with a request of the dressing on the side. Tilapia was very good. My husband had an American Club sandwich, which he liked. Other highlights of dining room dining were a potato and fennel soup, a salad with fava beans and fried artichokes...both excellent! One night in Raffles I really loved a salmon dish that had a sauce of gruyere and white wine with grapes. I most certainly am not an Indian food expert, but I enjoyed the selections that we found in Raffles. Very spicy and good! In Raffles, you can have a pasta dish made just for you, a stir fry, even a hot pot soup dish. Not to mention omelets at breakfasts...and desserts were excellent. My favorite was a honey creme brulee one night in Garden that had a layer of chocolate on the bottom, and the top was bruleed perfectly! Shrimp cocktail...this is a different presentation from what most of us are used to. It is small shrimp that has apparently been soaked for awhile in a very mild cocktail sauce. It wasn't my favorite thing, but we talked to another passenger who liked it so much as to order three in one serving. So judge for yourself! If you can't find food you like on this ship, you're not looking. Blue Lagoon Cafe is open 24 hours for burgers, chicken wings, spinach dip, tomato soup and more. We did not try room service, so I cannot report on that. Having an inside cabin, it was nicer for us to venture out for food. In the afternoons, Raffles Court has mini sandwiches, scones, cookies and more. The Biergarten has burgers & sausages...seriously, no matter what time of day you want food, you will find it. At night, Raffles even puts out table clothes and there is always cloth napkins. Iced Tea, Hot Tea,Coffee and water were always prevalent. Lemons & limes were there, although toward the end of the cruise it was just limes. Coffee was good. Soda service: My husband bought it immediately as he loves his Diet Coke. I'm not sure we would buy the package deal again. It is a bit difficult to actually get soda on the ship. Apparently they only have it in cans, and staff seemed to have to go far and wide to get it. We hated to have them run that hard for it. Art auction: didn't do it on this ship. Staff: I read previous reviews where people complained about crew members being unfriendly. That was, by far, not our experience. We felt like staff went out of their way to be friendly. Even the last morning, going into Raffles to just get a glass of water, I was greeted by three crew members, each of which said "good morning", and one added "have a good breakfast". Robert, who prepared our cabin for us, introduced himself to us the first day. There is an outstanding waitress in the Cafe in the Centrum where they serve primarily coffee drinks. One night, I asked for a lemon drop...not their typical drink, and she went upstairs to get a martini glass for my drink...outstanding! Everywhere we went on the ship, we were met by fantastic service & friendly and kind staff members. Entertainment: This ship has continuous entertainment everywhere. Music is prevalent. The band that plays outside on deck is excellent. There's a couple that played inside that was also great. We loved Home Free, the a capella groups that performed. As for the main shows...the comedian the first night got off to a very slow start, but was good after that. The magician was good if you like 1970's magic. He had a pleasant personality. Not too sure why he even has an assistant, however. The "show" folks did two shows: "On Broadway" and "On The Radio". Both were very good and highlighted some great tunes. A minor suggestion would be that what was missing for both shows was a story. Stop and tell the story, instead of assuming everyone on the ship has seen Wicked, or Moving On, etc. Second City, the Improv folks were well, not too impromptu, but it was entertaining. They did lectures as well. A few of them have extra potential. There was a guitarist in Henry's Pub a lot of the time with a really nice voice...David Oates, I believe is the name. Very nice, although Henry's Pub itself tends to get very hot. The ports: We did not do any of the ships tours. We wandered on our own. Walked around Halifax and St. John. Found the world's most perfect beer at O'Carrolls' in Halifax and St. John's Pub...which was Pump House Scotch. Went off and did the Duck tour in Boston, and had some great Italian food inexpensively in the north end. Unfortunately, due to currents, we could not tender in Martha's Vineyard. The casino: The staff there became friendly the last night of the cruise. Before that, it was the grumpies (which is typical of casinos anyway). Dealers were just fine, even though they were at the end of a 10-month tour. These people work very very hard. To customers in the casino, may I remind you that you're paying for entertainment??? If you're not enjoying it, why do it? Why sit there sullenly or bark orders to others? Those of us that cheered each other on and had fun, had, well...fun! Games: We went to some Trivia games, "The Weakest Link", and Quest. All were fun, although the person conducting The Weakest Link was difficult to understand. Overall: This is a beautiful ship that is lovingly maintained. Relax and enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date September 2008
Our cruise was 6 nt Canada/NE from NYC with stops in Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston and Martha's Vineyard. My background is I am a travel agent w/a large internet agency. This was my 5th cruise, first w/NCL. I have been on RCI 3 times ... Read More
Our cruise was 6 nt Canada/NE from NYC with stops in Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston and Martha's Vineyard. My background is I am a travel agent w/a large internet agency. This was my 5th cruise, first w/NCL. I have been on RCI 3 times and Carnival once. I knew what to expect and feel my review will be honest opinion for first timers or experienced cruisers. We went as a party of 10, 4 cabins. Our room was me, my wife and my 10 y/o daughter. My father-in-law rented a limo from NE PA about a 2 hour drive. The limo was probably the most disappointing part of this trip but not pertinent to this review. We arrived at the terminal around 12-1230. We went quickly through the check in and was on the ship within 20 minutes. From the start the crew seamed friendly. We went to Raffles Court for lunch. One thing, take your time as the staff pushes you to Raffles but Windows is open for lunch. As per previous reviews, you cannot get to your stateroom until 2pm but we did find a door that was not blocked off and went in around 145pm. We wanted to get to my in-laws stateroom as we were surprising them with the Anniversary package. The staterooms were standard fare a little tight and the bathroom division is nice but uses more room. The sliding balcony door was better than Carnival swinging door but the Balcony was a tight squeeze. Not sure who our cabin steward was but room was always clean but only 1 towel animal which they knew we had a 10 y/o. One other thing was the sofa bed blocked the balcony so if my daughter was sleeping, you couldn't get out to use it. Also I read a review that the person complained the sofa bed couldn't hold 2 people...ITS not supposed to ALL balcony cabins are rated 3 pax MAX. Carnival still had the biggest room. The ship was probably my favorite as far as decor goes. It was relatively clean and maintenance people were constantly working. Not sure what the other reviewers were looking at. The layout was fine except for Raffles. The Spirit is the same size as the CCL Victory but w/ only about 2000 pax, it felt much bigger. I took walks daily finding something new to look at and take pictures of. Dining was anywhere from great to sub par. The Freestyle dining is not for me. We ended up eating the same time every night and since we made reservations for the party of 10 we had little wait. The line for pax w/o reservations was LONG. The food for the most part was above average a few things were great, nothing was really below average. The service had problems as the waiters were hit or miss. We had good waiters 2 of the 4 nights we ate in the main dining rooms, BTW windows was much better. We ate at Le Bistro which was fantastic not quite up to RCI Portofino's but well worth the $15. La Trattoria was also very good and good service. Raffles was also hit or miss. Some days were great to average again nothing really bad. My daughter received royal treatment where ever she ate. The Blue Lagoon turned into our favorite place outside of dinner hours. The activities were ok. They were better the RCI but not even close to Carnival. The staff was ok a few were into it but nothing outstanding. The cruise director was very fake and scripted. Some of the games were unorganized and the other pax were upset as well. Just a note the Red Hat Society was onboard so they used some of the public areas that would normally be used by the cruise staff. The childrens center was great. My daughter and 4 y/o niece were there nearly all day on sea day and all night on port days. It was the most secure childrens center I ever saw. This was good and bad as my daughter was looking forward to signing herself in and out since we were just a flight of stairs away. NCL rules are 13 and older. Overall the service was very good. There were bright spots and weak spots. I think the other reviews dwell on one or 2 of the staff and base everything on that. Entertainment again hit or miss. The comedian and Second city troop were good the juggling family was iffy. I thought the productions shows were well produced but the singers were very lacking. We reserved one shore excursion in Bar Harbor but it was cancelled due to weather and refunded promptly. The ports were nice but 4 ports on a 6 nt cruise was too much for me. I actually stayed onboard in Marthas Vineyard. Its was in the low 80's, not what we were expecting the first week of October. It was nice that we got some pool and hot tub time in. Disembarkation was a breeze. But then the limo thing again. We waited nearly 1 1/2 hours for that only to find they sent a van instead but that's another story. Now that I have been on the big 3, I have to say I rank them the same way as before. Carnival is fun, great activities/entertainment and family oriented but the service and food(dining room) were lacking. NCL better food and service, average activities. RCI great food and service, average activities except for the physical activities(rock climb,ice and roller skating)which are great. I guess it really has been you get what you pay for as they also rank that way in price. Our next cruise is Mexican Riviera in February on the Golden Princess. Check back for that review. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This was our 3rd cruise and our 1st with NCL. We arrived in New York 1 day early and stayed at the Embassy Suites. Nice hotel, about a 20 minute drive to the port (because of traffic). Registration at the port was a breeze. From the time ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise and our 1st with NCL. We arrived in New York 1 day early and stayed at the Embassy Suites. Nice hotel, about a 20 minute drive to the port (because of traffic). Registration at the port was a breeze. From the time our driver dropped us off, we were on the boat in twenty minutes. This is due in large part to the large number of agents working the counter. It also helps to pre-register online with NCL. You must do this at least 7-days prior to the cruise. My agent did not tell me this and luckily I discovered it on my own. Rooms: Once on the ship, we settled into our cabin which we discovered was more than adequate with a nicely equipped bathroom. The hairdryer was a little odd, but nonetheless did the job. The shower was excellent! It came with glass doors, no slimy shower curtain! The water pressure and temperature felt just like home. There was a lot of storage shelves for our cosmetics, places to hang wet clothes, etc. The closet also provided more than ample space for a family of four. Our suitcases also fit tightly under the beds. There was plenty of lighting in the room, so you never had to worry about seeing. One tip, if you are in an inside room its a good idea to bring a plug-in nightlight or two. I put one in the bathroom and one near the vanity. This prevented anyone from tripping and injuring themselves along with not having to turn the bright light on to use the restroom not only waking yourself up, but everyone else in the cabin. Luggage delivery was average. It was outside our room by 6:30 p.m. (we arrived around 12:30 p.m.). Food: The buffet had a nice selection but the taste was average. I would say the best stations were the stir-fry in the evening and the omelettes in the morning. You were hard-pressed to find a soft piece of bread which made me think that they put out the same rolls from the day before. The desserts unfortunately were tasteless. The only thing I enjoyed was the unlimited ice cream! As for the main dining rooms (Windows and Garden Room), the portions were extremely small. So much so that we made sure we ordered two entrees at every meal. The salad was literally 4 bites. The desserts, also small but good. We ate at Cagney's (a specialty restaurant with a surcharge of $20 for adults, $10 for kids) on the last night of the cruise and that was by far the best meal on the whole trip. Nice steaks, king crab legs, and awesome dessert. I would highly recommend eating there more than once on your trip. Its a vacation, splurge a little! The only negative thing I have to say when comparing NCL's food to Royal Caribbean is that you have to pay extra for the great food you'd receive in the main dining rooms on RC for free. Also, the main dining rooms were hard for us to find because the stairways were very confusing. You could only access them from one stairway and for us it was on the complete opposite side of the ship. Public areas: The swimming pool deck was laid out nice. However it was too cold outside for a swim. The band by the pool on the first day was awesome. The fitness room was small but well equipped and maintained. They had TV's on the cardio equipment. The childcare center seemed large and entertaining. However, my youngest daughter was not permitted because she was under 2 (with the exception of toddler time) and my older daughter had no interest in being left there either. They do not allow parents in there except during toddler time so I wouldn't have felt comfortable even dropping off my older daughter there without being able to walk in there and check things out. The arcade next to the child care center had a good variety of games but you had to pay to play. The library and internet room were very quiet and inviting. I would recommend purchasing an internet plan on the 1st day because they offer a special discount. The bars and casino were nice and there were always staff cleaning the public areas. Staff: I have no complaints at all here. Everyone was friendly and attentive. The females loved my children and always made sure they were taken care of. The room steward did an excellent job. I loved the turn-down service! I would have to say that NCL had more than enough staff to cater to your every whim. The best part is that gratuity is added to your bill at the end so you don't have to carry a lot of cash around for tipping. However, we always tipped a little extra to those persons we felt gave exemplary service. Ports: Halifax was nice. We chose the hop-on, hop-off bus for our excursion. The city seemed easy to navigate and if given the opportunity to do it again, we'd rent a car instead. I think we would have seen more that way. However, it was nice to get the commentary and history lesson from the tour operator. Shopping was a bit pricey. I paid $40 CAN for a hooded sweatshirt. I found it $20 US cheaper in the next port! If you go anywhere in Halifax, I would recommend the Maritime Museum and the Public Gardens. The next stop was Bar Harbor, ME. This was one of my favorite ports. The tendering process was quite easy and efficient. The colors of the trees were amazing and everything seemed so clean. Life was slower paced there and it was nice to be able to walk everywhere. We chose to take Olly's Trolley to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National park. A very nice drive and good photo op. It was cold at the top, so dress warm. Boston was by far the best port. So much to do in so little time. We chose to take a cab to the aquarium in search for a trolley. Cityview is one option, but they don't have as many trolleys as the company closest to the marriott. Just walk a little further down and you'll see them, they are orange tolleys. You must embark on the freedom trail. If you follow the whole thing, you'll see a lot. You have to pay to go into Paul Revere's house, but its only $3. I did not get to venture through the Boston Commons but I loved the Bunker Hill Monument. My daughter and her uncle climbed the 300 stairs to the top. The USS Constitution was also pretty neat. Didn't have time for the tour that takes you below deck, but would have liked to. Martha's Vineyard was my least favorite port. There was not enough things to do and most shops had already closed for the winter. We took a bus tour that was a little boring because most of the homes were concealed by thick trees so its hard to see anything. There also wasn't much variety in the home architecture. They all looked the same, just different sizes. Also, the tendering from the ship was awful. The seas were very rough and the wait was long. I felt sorry for those with motion sickness. The boat back to the ship was a small ferry and was a little smoother, but again the wait was long to get on the boat. The weather was freezing because of the wind. Entertainment: The best shows were the Broadway and On the Radio. The acrobat family was also entertaining. Also, the some of the crew performed as well and that was highly interesting. Forget about the magician and the comedian. I found myself giving pity applause. Activities: This is an area that I feel needs improvement. There were not enough games and activities for the 25-40 age group. I was hoping for dance lessons, cooking demos, poetry reading, and more fitness classes. This cruise seemed to be more catered to the 50 and up demographic. There's nothing wrong with that, but it would have been nice to have a little variety in activities. Also, they were constantly having raffles and lotteries which I felt deviated from a classy cruise experience. Overall: I was pleased with this cruise experience. It was a good value for the price and I will most likely cruise with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
NCL Spirit - New England Cruise Oct 21 to Oct 27, 2007 My friend Betty and I took this cruise. It was my second NCL, and her first NCL, we've both cruised before. My only other NCL cruise was on the Majesty out of Charleston and ... Read More
NCL Spirit - New England Cruise Oct 21 to Oct 27, 2007 My friend Betty and I took this cruise. It was my second NCL, and her first NCL, we've both cruised before. My only other NCL cruise was on the Majesty out of Charleston and while I enjoyed myself with my family, the cruise ship and other things just did not impress me. So I've been hesitant to book another NCL until now. The New England destination is just what we wanted, it was out of New York which meant no flying, and the price was right, so we said, what the heck! And I'm very glad we did. The NCL Spirit was wonderful. The ship is beautiful, and well maintained. The Asian influences are tasteful. Because of this cruise, I will definitely book another NCL cruise. I read these message boards before we left and was a little worried because there seemed to be many more negative reviews than positive. People gave poor ratings to the food, the beds. Reviews said the ship condition was poor and the staff was grumpy. I am happy to report that none of these things were true for us. We felt the food was pretty darned good in most cases, and on formal night we both ordered 2 lobster tails. We asked about the 2nd one when they only brought out one each at first (and panicked because God forbid we don't get our TWO lobster tails like we didn't already have enough food...hahaha), they said, we'll bring them out when you're done with your first one, we don't want it to get cold." The beds may have been "foam pads" on a hard surface but they were pretty comfortable, and the cabin steward gave us egg crates when we asked. But we slept the first night without them and were comfortable. The cabins were standard for inside, but the bathroom was a little larger than other cruises I've been on. The shower had 2 shower doors instead of a curtain so there was no curtain to blow around and stick to your butt, and no wet floor. We were on the 9th deck and barely felt the ship moving. Usually we get a 3rd deck cabin so it's low and we don't feel the motion, but being on the 9th deck didn't matter. The ship was very stable. The staff was very pleasant with the exception of the 2 female bartenders in the Maharini room who people had to beg to get attention. In fact not only did all staff greet you, on several occasions I noticed staff members who actually waited, looking at you to say hello as you approached. Very, very friendly and accommodating. I want to say a special thanks to the 2 bartenders on the back deck for their great service and conversation. One whose name I believe was Totanto. The back deck, by the way is great, and the view from there, going out of Boston was just beautiful at sunset. I really like the layout of the ship, lots of little private cozy spaces and comfortable seating. On the last day, the Martha's Vineyard port, I decided to stay on the ship. The rough seas and long lines for tenders kind of sealed the deal for me so I grabbed my book and headed to a corner table spot by the bar with the pastries in the main lobby, near the water fountains. The bartender greeted me and I said "I've been wanting to check out this spot since I got on the ship." He smiled and said, "Then I won't bother you, but is there something I can get you?" As I said yes and headed to the bar he said, go sit down, I'll be right over for your order." He came out from behind the bar, took my order, and left me alone. It was so wonderful and relaxing. Since we both were celebrating birthdays, we got a $79.00 package that is billed as a honeymoon/anniversary/romance package. I found out about this by reading these boards and it is well worth the cost. For 79.00 (for the whole package) you get champagne and very good and fresh chocolate covered strawberries on arrival; canapEs delivered to your room one night; a "romance" party with others who purchased the package that includes champagne and cake; and dinner in LeBistro, the French Specialty Restaurant with a bottle of wine, and one free picture of your choice. It was a great value. We met some nice people, and Alice, if you read this by any chance, email me if you like. We never got a chance to exchange emails....vchal363@msn.com. Getting to the pier from Penn Station in New York was a breeze and cost about $8.00 and was about a 20 minute ride. Embarkation was smooth and quick. We did the Freestyle Disembarking and it was great being able to get off when ever you wanted. Many others did the same thing. It was organized once outside and waiting for a cab. Pier staff helped you get cabs, etc. The whole transportation, from Philly to New York and back was pretty smooth. Just a bit of warning...the ramp from the ship to the pier when leaving was very steep. Not only did you roll your luggage in front of you instead of behind you for fear of the bag running you over, I was aware of those behind me...if there was any run-away luggage it would knock down those in its path like a bowling bowl! Halifax was interesting. We did a hop on hop off tour that was expensive we thought (45.00) but very informative. But if I ever get there again I would rent a car and get out of the city like others did. Bar Harbor was just beautiful, and we got very lucky that the leaves were at their peak color since they are usually gone by mid-October. We took the Acadia National Park tour for $25.00 and was for 2 ½ hours. You get the tix at Tesla's restaurant right on Main Street. I know there are other tours but I don't know the prices since we decided to do that after we had our lobster lunch (see a pattern here?). The tour guide was great and full of lots of information. We stopped along the way several times. In Boston we took public transportation for $4.00 roundtrip per person (as opposed to 13.00 trolley ride from pier) to Fenuell Hall and Quincy market and had a delicious lunch at Durkin Park, on the second floor...delicious and fresh oysters and clams on a half shell and of course, Boston Clam Chowder. Martha's Vineyard was the last stop but as I said earlier, I didn't get off the ship, though my friend Betty got some shopping done there. Entertainment - We didn't do too many shows. Second City was average, and the young comedian guy was just bad. The "Radio Show" was great...good music and creative choreography. One night in the Galaxy Room, after the "Beat the Geeks" trivia game/show, the ship's band came on. It was several talented elderly gentleman musicians in the band and the lead singer was Asian, and did the best Frank Sinatra! He was amazing. The only small negatives I have are: weak tasting coffee; very limited breakfast room service menu (no smoked salmon, no eggs/bacon, etc.); canapEs that were delivered to our room as part of a package we bought weren't very good; beds a little narrow but comfortable; no TRAYS in the buffet, this is actually a little pet peeve of mine......as with some others I've noticed on this message board....; Blue Lagoon - we tried this one late night, not very good food here in my opinion, wonton soup had no taste, buffalo wings almost tasteless, one of our dining partners had the stir-fry noodles and said they were good. Anyhow, that's it. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks everyone from here for sharing, and I'm glad to do my part. Judy Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
DW and I just returned from the Spirit Canada/ New England (10/14 - 10/20). We have been on the Spirit before, Aug 2006, so we knew the layout of the ship, which always helps. Embarkation. We arrived in NYC 9:30, and to the port around ... Read More
DW and I just returned from the Spirit Canada/ New England (10/14 - 10/20). We have been on the Spirit before, Aug 2006, so we knew the layout of the ship, which always helps. Embarkation. We arrived in NYC 9:30, and to the port around 10:30, the Bike Race made it hard to get to the port. We parked, gave the porter the luggage and was directed to the Latitude waiting area. We were in that area for 30 minutes at most and then were sent to check in. We sat in the chairs for 30 minutes at most and then got on the ship. Cabin. The cabin, 11520 a BA category, was always clean. The only issue was the power, which was fixed quickly. The one and only 110 volt receptacle did not work. I went to the front desk and with in 20 minutes someone brought a transformer, it gave us two 110 volt plugs Dining. Overall the food on the ship was very good. We eat in Windows twice, one diner and one lunch. The food and the service were both very good. Each morning we had breakfast at the buffet. The selection of food was OK, but NCL had not gotten the hint, the SCRAMBLE EGGS ARE WET STILL. There was an omelet station, there were two staff members manning it and the layout was confusing. Guest would be in line waiting were you got a plate. As you walk up to the first staff member if the other was available you would walk over, other guest would start a line behind you. No fault to the guests, a "rope line" may be in order. Had diner in the specialty three time, Cagney's one and Le Bistro twice. The service and food in Cagney's was very good and worth the money, but nothing compared the Le Bistro, the Le Bistro was OUTSTANDING. Wendell was the concierge both nights and was outstanding. Michael and Mary took care of us the first night. On the second night we had Donald and Mary, other members also made sure the food arrived, plates were cleared and the water was full. If you are reading this review before you cruise the Spirit, make it a point to book at least one diner in the Le Bistro, it IS worth the price. The Blue Lagoon is a good place for a quick meal. Overall the food is good, at times the service is slow and if you order lets say, Wings, Chili, and a Burger, they all come at the same time. At times the Fries and Potatoes Skins are warm and soggy. Entertainment. Cameo Rascale and family were very good, Young James stole the show. He had a juggling clinic; it was fun to watch adults try to juggle. Second City was very funny. I have seen them on other cruises; this group of Second City performers was the best we have seen. We did not go to the shows buy the NCL production company; this was for no reason other than we have seen the "On the Radio" and "Broadway" show on other cruises. They are always good. The comedian was Chris Riche. He had seen her on the Dawn in May of this year. She is OK but not my "Cup of Tea". Ports/Destination. We enjoyed Halifax, Boston and Martha Vineyard. Being from Boston we did a Duck Tour of the city. I live in Boston; it was fun and an interesting way to see the city I live in as a tourist. In Halifax, the Citadel and Maritime Museum were great takes. Get to the Citadel for the Noon time canon, and watch the changing of the Guards. The Maritime Museum is also a good take. The second floor has stuff from many wrecks and outstanding ship models. Martha Vineyard is a very pretty island. We took the only shore excursion that was offered, it was a bus tour of the island that dropped us off in Edgartown for 1.5 Hrs, and we did some shopping and seeing of the sites Now the two areas that I had concerns with Casino. I was not overly impressed with the Casino Staff. I asked on the first day if my points from the Dawn could be applied to the Spirit, by the last day they were not. I was told the Dawn "Did not reply to the email" When I got on the Dawn in May 2007 the points from Aug 2006 on the Spirit were transfer as I waited, no email no waiting, did some thing change were in the system? The times in the Freestyle and the Slots Tournament did not match. When asked I was told it was a mix-up, it was printed as if we stopped in Bar Harbor???????? Now my big issue, the Craps Table. There are Dealers and Stickman that should not be working on that game. Examples: $5 table, Point was 8; I dropped $15 and asked for a 6 and 9. On a $5 dollar table that is a $5 - 9 and a $6 -6. It took some time for the dealer to get it, the Stickman and the Box man needed to tell the person what to do. NOTE: I was one of three people playing; there was not a lot of action. On that same run, added a $5 -5, the game had to stop because the dealer had no idea what bet each of the three people had. Craps is a fast game, and I understand that Stickman and Dealers get changed, but they MUST understand the game. The Casino opened late several nights, I think it was due to the slow speed we were traveling since the fog was heavy as we left Boston. The late opening is NO fault of the casino staff, I think telling the many people that were waiting what was going on would have been in order. Cruise Ship Staff. The Food Service and House Keeping staff did a very good job, my option of the Cruise Director and his staff is different. I saw and heard the Cruise Director less on this cruise than others. The announcements that were made had very little detail, and information was not supplied on a timely basis. The ship did not info us until the Wed night that we would have to clear US Immigration Thursday morning in Boston. The notification was the papers left by the Hotel staff when they turned down the beds. A less formal notification was taped in the elevators. When Thursday morning came the ship did not follow its own schedule on who went to Immigration when. The Freestyle Daily said that when we got to Martha Vineyard the tenders until 10:30 were to be for guest with Shore Excursion, after that "Independent Guests" could go ashore. When the announcement was made about the tenders being ready, no note was made about guests with excursion being first. Also, I have never heard of the phase "Independent Guests", is that a new NCL word. The only announcement that had detail and followed the schedule was the deck by deck departure on the last day. DW and I have been to Bermuda and the surrounding area 5+ times and wanted a change and it was enjoyable. I would recommend the ports to others as well as NCL. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
Just returned from the NCL Spirit. 6 night out of NYC. It was a nice cruise but nothing too memorable. Having this been my 24th cruise, I know what to expect and not what to expect on a cruise.We actually sailed without a cruise director ... Read More
Just returned from the NCL Spirit. 6 night out of NYC. It was a nice cruise but nothing too memorable. Having this been my 24th cruise, I know what to expect and not what to expect on a cruise.We actually sailed without a cruise director and not much activity was provided. Embarkation in NYC went 15-20 minutes. Cabin was ready about 1:30. Nice cabin with limited amenities. Muster drill is somewhat optional. Did not see my cabin attendant until 8PM that night. Worked like a stealth. First night we tried the sushi restaurant for the $15 upcharge per person. It was ok. Limited menu as expected and quality was about even with supermarket sushi. Waitress was coy about additional tipping at the upgrade restaurants. She stated it was not included in the service charge, but the bill stated that it was. Next day was a sea day on the way to Halifax. It was chilly and blustery. The ship does not have any enclosed pools. So sea day was sleep and eat day. Arrived in Halifax and we rented a car to see foliage changes. Drove to Peggys Cove and was disappointed with the venue. Alot of cold shivering tourists walking around. Drove to Lunenberg and it was quiet. Returned to ship. Not much to do in the port. Did not see many people returning with any purchases. Next day was St. Johns' New Brunswick. Quaint area with some charm.Try Lords Lobster Shop in the Market. Best Lobster Roll for all of $8. Boston was fun. We took a taxi into Quincy Market for $8 rather than the ship shuttle. This was cheaper, easier and faster. Great city to explore but not enough time. Next day was Marthas Vineyard. Problem existed that many things were already closed for the season. Returned to NY the next day. Ship Issues: poor non attentive service in all areas. There is no incentive for the crew to work. They do provide their job description and no more.They get the tips irregardless. Raffles buffet food was ok. Presentation was poor. The buffet was not maintained and was sloppy. Plates were chipped and silverware had dried on food. Skip the La Trattoria Italian restaurant. Service was horrible, and the food was fair at best. Spa was ok but the receptionist was continually nasty and cold to all. Also beware the gangways are not equipped for physically challenged passengers. They were quite steep and no crew help to the elderly.One plus was the upgraded Steak House Clancy's.$20 per person well worth it. Just beware there is an additional surcharge of $10 for lobster. It is kind of nickel and diming. Overall, it was an ok experience. Before we left the ship, we took a good look around because we knew we would never see this place again...... Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This is the third cruise for my wife and I. First NCL Dawn 7/06, Second RCL Explorer of the Seas 5/07 and now this one. We're mid 50's and traveled alone. We live in South Jersey so we were able to drive to the port. It worked ... Read More
This is the third cruise for my wife and I. First NCL Dawn 7/06, Second RCL Explorer of the Seas 5/07 and now this one. We're mid 50's and traveled alone. We live in South Jersey so we were able to drive to the port. It worked out fine with one exception. There was a bicycle marathon going down 12th Ave where the port is and the old saying that "you can't get there from here" was appropriate. What should have been a 15 minute ride from the Lincoln Tunnel turned into a 1 hour tour of the west-side of Manhattan. So my 1st advise is make sure to leave yourself plenty of time which we did. Got to the port, dropped off my wife and our bags and parked on the level above the pier. Worked out fine. You pull up to your pier (in this case 90) and drop the bags with the longshoreman. They are great and do not forget to tip. Drove a along the pier up the ramp and onto the parking deck. Paid the week in advance ($144) for 6 nights. We got a space three down from the elevator. Met up with wife and went to Latitudes lounge which is really just a sitting area. After about 30 minutes an NCL rep came and got us and we checked in, no problems there as we filled out the paperwork earlier. Sat there for another 15 minutes and were the second people onto the ship at about 10:30. Rooms weren't ready so we went to Windows for a leisurely lunch. First impression was the Grand Centrum is very lavish, Windows is a huge dining room, nicely decorated with multiple number seats at table. Lunch was fine but desert was terrible. Might have been good if the Berry Cobbler was cooked throughout and not still cold. After lunch we explored the ship and found it very nice and easy to navigate. Some of the carpet and spaces are showing age but I understand ship will be dry-docked in the winter so that should freshen it up. We got to the cabin at about 2pm dropped off our carry-ons. Cabin was small with two singles pushed together to make one Queen. The first night one side was up against the cabin wall and we moved the beds to the center for the next nights and it was easier that way. I usually tip the room steward $20 the first day but never saw him. Left a note 1st night for extra pillows which were left. Was disappointed in the room at first. The TV didn't work, the loudspeaker cut in and out and when I went to call engineering for them to get fixed, DUH...the phone didn't work. Used a house phone in the hall and everything was working within an hour. Did the sailaway in the Celebrity Lounge in the front of the ship since it was a bit cool. Lovely view going out. Once under the Varrazano Bridge, went back to the room and all bags were there so we unpacked and went to dinner in the Garden Restaurant. Nice food, a little slow on the service, deserts terrible again. Uh-oh I'm spotting a trend. On to the first show which was a very talented juggling family. Usually I'm asleep 15 minutes into those shows. But they were very good especially the young son who was about 10. Cruise Director Darrin was bland and not a whole lot of energy. Onto the casino and started the cruise right by winning $300 on a poker machine. Wife stayed with penny slots which she enjoyed. Off to bed at about 1:30. Bed was a bit saggy and pillows were hard but it was time for passout so we managed. DAY 1-At Sea Got up in time for a very nice breakfast at windows, Good food, service and selection. Onto Bingo, and go the punch out cards rather than the expensive electronic gadget. Still lost. More exploration and then onto lunch in buffet. Food was good, not great, but warm with good selection. Off for a nap and then dinner in Windows. Service better, faster delivery of meals. Off to another show, Second City who we always enjoy and then back to the Casino. They got some of their $300 back. DAY 2-We decided not to do the Whale Watching tour since it was cold. Walked the pier which was nice and picturesque. Went to Maritime Museum. Was ok. Casino was good to us. Day 3-Didn't take the St. Johns tour and got off only to go to the City Market in the port parking lot. Souvenirs and back on board in an hour. Day 4-Boston-We have been before and didn't take any of the tours. They have a $26 r/t shuttle that goes to Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market which is where we spent the day. It's worth the cost of the shuttle and r/t cab would have been about $40. We love Boston and it was a party atmosphere since the SOX were playing that night. Back to the ship, dinner and casino Day 5-Martha's Vineyard. This tour we were looking forward to. SAVE YOUR MONEY! You get herded on converted scholl busses and run throughout the perimeter of the island at about 45 miles per hours. It can be summed up like this: "Here is the driveway of...(insert name of dead celebrity)...but you can't see the house from here". We learned about BeettleBung trees, Grapevines and Robert Parker, no not theauthor, the guy that has the heating oil monopoly on the island. Pretty island but at 40 mph you don't see things til you're pass them. Driver wasn't going to let us off at Edgartown where we had a scheduled 1 1/2 hours shopping time scheduled until we started to all yell that we are scheduled for this. He finally called and they told him yes but he left us there to go to another tour. Don't know if her came back because we took a cab back to the ship and had a better tour with that driver. Save your money. Take the tender into the island and explore the harbor area there. Nice shops and good food. Day 6-Home- Into port on NYC on time. Do express disembarkment. We were off the ship at 8:30 and on the road by 8:45. You need to carry off your own luggage and have to have paid your bill up front but it was a breeze. SUMMARY SHIP-Pretty ship, easy to navigate, a little worn, but clean. There was always someone dusting, washing or painting. Needs upgrade on some of the carpet and decorations but still nice. CABINS-Small window cabin. Uncomfortable bed, small couch. Bathroom good size for a big person..me not wife... Quiet and clean. CREW-Never did meet our steward although we figured out who he was in the hall. Staff was pleasant and accommodating and very eager to please. My wife loves that they call her "Madame" ENTERTAINMENT-Typical ship entertainment, Went to 4 of the 5 shows and they were an hour long which was about right. Mush longer and it would have been Zzzzzzzzzzzcity. FOOD-It was Ok. Not as good as on the Dawn or Explorer. Lobster was tough and NY Strip Steak was the width on my show sole and as tough. Over all it was just ok, not terrible or great. Deserts did improve. Make sure you get whatever desert Souffle they offer. It was the only time I asked for seconds of anything. CASINO-Friendly staff. Played Texas Hold-Em 3 nights and had a good group. They could tell I was a beginner but I held my own and wasn't yelled at for some novice mistakes. Great way to learn the table game. OVER-ALL-We had a nice time. We weren't much on the excursions, just wanted to relax and enjoy ourselves which we did. Were not a lot of kids on board so can't comment on that aspect. DO IT AGAIN?-Yes, we liked the ship although not as much as the others we have been on. If the itinerary was right would definitely sail her again. Understand she is going out of New Orleans next year so that might be fun. Hope this was helpful Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
I just returned from the New England cruise on Norwegian Spirit. It was a spur of the minute idea when a friend got e mail with an offer which seemed like a great price (it was) I booked and then began reading reviews of the ship which ... Read More
I just returned from the New England cruise on Norwegian Spirit. It was a spur of the minute idea when a friend got e mail with an offer which seemed like a great price (it was) I booked and then began reading reviews of the ship which made me a little nervous. However, I am an optimist and decided I would still have a great time. Overall the cruise was good. The cabin was inside, no window, no view. It was fine. The beds are very firm but you can get a foam insert, which I did. There is no clock so bring one if you need it. There is a coffee pot. The bathroom is a good size as is the closet. There is a painting where a window would be of a beach scene so it looks like a window. The first night there was a beeping sound from what we thought was the smoke detector. When we finally got the electrician out in the morning it was the speaker making the noise. I called at midnight and they sent someone but they couldn't diagnose it so we waited till the morning for the electrician. I should have called again and gotten him to come at midnight, after all we couldn't sleep with the noise and he is on the ship. We did not have a good night with the beeping every few minutes. We asked for extra towels and had no problem getting them. We had coffee delivered every morning and they ring the phone to tell you it is on the way. It was always on time. The room was clean as was the entire ship. The entertainment on the ship was only ok. We only went 3 nights. We saw broadway show tunes, a comedy group and the talent nite. The entertainment in the champagne lounge was very good, this is on the 8th floor over looking the atrium. The most annoying thing was the daily bingo which was in the lounge at the front of the ship. It was a great place to sit and read, have a drink and relax, BUT they come in every afternoon and play bingo. Very annoying. It should have been in the theater. I had to leave when that started. The weather was good so I sat out on the lounge chairs a couple of times. They need to provide a light blanket for these locations when they are cruising north. On Friday I took my blanket off the bed and brought it down with me. The food in the regular dining areas (no charge) was not good. We ate there 4 nights and I didn't like any of it. I am not fussy, but it really was not good. Portions are very small but you can ask for more, but I didn't like it enough to do that. The bread was very good. The service was good. I do not like the freestyle dining. I would rather be at the same table each nite and get to know the servers. On my other cruise we had lots of fun with the servers, but here you have someone different each time. The buffet was good and we ate there one day and breakfast every day and some lunches. I think the food there was good and they had a good variety. But I don't like self service and they don't have trays so you are carrying dishes back and forth to the table. We tried on special restaurant, Cagney's the steak place. That was excellent. I don't understand why they can't serve excellent food in the regular dining areas. One problem I had was paying duty on the alcohol I purchased. We decided to carry our luggage off so we could leave early. However I was not aware each person could only take off one bottle of alcohol. So I had 4, two for each person. They stopped me at the end of the gangway and I had to go back on the ship and declare one bottle each. I have no problem with paying the money, but think they should have made that clear when I bought it or at least when they delivered it. I went up to the gym and took a lecture but never did use the gym, it looked nice thou and had a lot of machines and a trainer there. My friend did the golf and enjoyed it. There were 5 hot tubs all filled. I used them 3 days and one day it was so nice there were people in the pool. There is only one pool and one for the children. Not many on this trip. I think for a southern cruise one pool, and not a big one at that would not be enough. Activities and departures where prompt and on time. I was part of a group on line and someone arranged for a meeting room on Monday. Five of the crew came to the meeting and provided coffee and cookies and spoke informally to us. That was a nice touch. We didn't do any tours. We did our own thing when we got off the ship. There were cabs at the ports and in Boston there was a shuttle for $13 round trip provided by the ship. We did lots of walking. Overall I would say the cruise was worth the money we paid. Don't think I will chose another Norwegian cruise, mainly because of the freestyle dining and the quality of the food. Patricia Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
Just got back from our cruise, 10/7-10/13. I was a little skeptical after reading some of the previous reviews and posts on the message board. I was pleasantly surprised. The ship was very nice and kind of ornate due to the Asian ... Read More
Just got back from our cruise, 10/7-10/13. I was a little skeptical after reading some of the previous reviews and posts on the message board. I was pleasantly surprised. The ship was very nice and kind of ornate due to the Asian influence. I live in NJ so I drove to the port and parked my car. Couldn't be easier. Embarkation took about 20 minutes and we were soon in Windows having lunch. It was a warm day in NY so we just hung out in the area on the back of the ship above the kid's pool (very nice area for the kids). Went to the room around 2:00. It was an inside cabin, not bad, but it had a nice shower stall, not like other ones I've seen on other ships I've been on. From the minute we got on the ship the staff couldn't be friendlier. Of course there are those that may have been having a bad day but all in all they were great. We ate at most of the specialty restaurants and in the Main dining room a few times. I like the fact that you can choose a specialty restaurant or just eat in the regular dining room. Alot of people did eat in the regular dining room. The ports we stopped at were really good. I actually liked Martha's Vineyard the best. We had to use the tender for that port and Bar Harbor. The water was very rough in Martha's Vineyard and they had some trouble get some of the tenders back to the ship. Glad I wasn't on those. The entertainment was very good but I thought the showroom was small. The only thing I missed from RCI was a place to get a cappuccino or latte. They had a cafe but they had coffee drinks with liquor in them. I just needed a latte but I survived. All in all, I recommend this ship and itinerary. I enjoyed it very much. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
Norwegian Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.8
Dining 4.5 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 3.5 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.2
Service 5.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.0

Find a Norwegian Spirit Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click