12 Norwegian Spirit Cruise Reviews for Entertainment Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Firstly about the cruise line: This was the first time we used this cruise line and had high expectations considering our experience with HAL (Holland America Line) 2 years ago. So like last time we did not book direct but through an ... Read More
Firstly about the cruise line: This was the first time we used this cruise line and had high expectations considering our experience with HAL (Holland America Line) 2 years ago. So like last time we did not book direct but through an travel agent in a packaged tour/cruise deal. With the package it was 2 cruises back to back and thankfully we could retain the same cabin for both cruises. So travelling as a middle-aged but very active couple seeking to explore the Mediterranean for the first time. So like other cruise lines, we got email notification from NCL that we could log on and personalise our experience. Their system is easy to use and worked well. They also have an on-board app called ‘I Concierge’ which is linked to your account and uses the ship’s Wi-Fi system (for free) but you create your log on via your name and birthdate. It does work extremely well and allows you to look at your account and book experiences (packages such as spa, specialty dining etc.) but the system has a flaw which we heard from a couple of passengers whose birthday is 29th February (leap day) as the system does not recognise this date (poor programming from the designers of the app) so they could not create their log on and had to use the manual system of bookings and print outs of their accounts, a little disappointing for those technically inclined. When you board the ship you are issued with a cruise card that is linked to your account, identifies you as a passenger and unlocks your cabin door. Good security system and works very well. Equally the disembarkation worked wonderfully (we chose the walk off option which gave us more time and flexibility to be packed and off by 9am deadline). Also the day at port for the changeover between the 2 cruises was very well managed and stress free. As part of our package we were offered the choice of 2 of the 5 ‘Free at Sea’ deals. We chose the shore excursion credit and the unlimited beverage package (UBP). Bear In mind that all passengers travelling together in the same cabin have to have the same choices, which is understandable and prevents sharing of benefits. Here is how they worked; the UBP is linked to your cruise card and allows you unlimited number of alcoholic beverages to the value of USD$15 per glass, so this covers quite a few beers, wines, spirits and cocktails (with the average cost of a beer being USD$8 and wines USD$10, it is an effective package and well worth considering depending on how much you drink); shore credit is a little more tricky. So with shore credit, firstly it is applied as a USD$50 credit to your on board account and is given at the completion of your booked shore excursion at each port. Here’s the thing, it is only applied to cabin account once per port irrespective if more than one excursion is booked and if you are overnighting in a port it will not apply to a second day’s excursion booked if you had done an excursion the previous day. So one credit per port only (however it does change on other cruises where you spend multiple days in a port but you have to check that out with them prior to booking to see if that exception applies). If you book your excursions after you board, the USD$50 credits will be deducted from your tours on you onboard account so in effect you get a discount for your excursions. However, if you book online or by phone prior to booking, these credits will be applied not to the tours but your overall on-board account for your other purchases so if you don’t spend extra you will lose that credit as it will not come off the total bill, to get the value, you will need to spend the equivalent amount in specialty dining, internet, drinks, spa etc whilst on board. They will not refund any unused portion of the credit at the end of the cruise. This is something you need to be fully aware of if you choose this package. Having said that, we waited to book until we boarded and were not disadvantaged in any way, managed to get on every excursion we had requested. Pre-Cruise stay: We stayed in Rome for 2 nights as part of our package and had a wonderful time exploring the city and some of the big iconic sites. We opted to stay in the centre of the city which gave us great access to all the city has to offer and public transport should we need it (which we really didn't as we could walk everywhere easily). NORWEGIAN SPIRT So about the ship, it is the smallest of this cruise line, holding 2000 passengers. It is not the smallest we have seen so consider it mid-sized. The cabins are a tad smaller than the bigger ships but still comfortable. The ship is well maintained, nicely appointed and the staff are extremely helpful. Boarding – efficient and no hassles and extremely well managed. Theatre /Shows – good theatre but the seating is a little tricky as the rows are too close together so trying to sit down with the seat needing to be flipped down can be difficult as the seat rubs on the back of your legs but once you are seated it is comfortable enough. As for the shows, some are fantastic others not quite so. Bars – there are a number of them on-board and all are lovely, lots of seating, good views, ultra clean and have good service from the staff. Different events are hosted in the various bars so quite and noisy times but you can always find something to suit your style. Dining – Specialty restaurants, bars, buffet bistros and main dining options. The buffet bistro is always busy and can like all buffet venues have big queues, just need to pick your moment. The evening meals are theme based and add variety. It is included in your fare so no extra expense. The main dining rooms (Windows and the Garden Room) have the same menus with full sit down service (no lining up). Good menu with delicious food, just lacking in vegetable content which us Aussies are used to and desire. After the first cruise, the menu was repeated so that was a bit of a disappointment. We did not do the specialty restaurants but feedback from fellow passengers that they really enjoyed their meals. Allergies – if you have a food allergy let the waiter know (if you haven’t already), they have allocated a specialist waiter to help you with your orders. Here is how it works; you will be encouraged to pre-order your meal for the next evening so the chefs have a chance to prepare your meal without the offending allergens. That’s fine but it does lock you into a specific restaurant. As I have an unusual allergy it confused them somewhat and I had to explain and sometimes stand my ground about my choices. “But madam, that meal has portions that are not made on-board so we can’t guarantee it is allergen free” and my response “I have decades of experience at working out what foods are likely or unlikely to have that spice, I know this meal option will be safe for me to eat”. This system only works for the restaurants not the buffet or cafés. I much prefer to ask if the meal contains the specific spice than be locked into a pre-ordered meal. Cabins – we had 9182 allocated to us and it was not the best choice. The cabin was aft and directly above the theatre, below the kids club rooms and opposite the hotel storeroom. So a very noisy cabin at times. We heard all the shows, some louder than others….groan. The kids had active play at night and sounded like elephants playing soccer with lots of thumps, bumps, loud sharp bangs, yelling and general boisterous play. This went on late into the night and we had to have a polite word with the staff in that area about it. They agreed to cease the active play at 9:30pm so we considered that fair and reasonable. However, it took quite a bit of discussion and investigation to resolve the noises coming from there between 1 and 2am every night. Worked out it was the cleaners, not sure if they were playing with the equipment while doing their job or just jolly noisy but either way the noise abated and we were given chocolate-coated strawberries and a bottle of red wine as an apology. Nice touch, but we just wanted to have uninterrupted sleep. The situation was handled well by staff but the problem is the lack of insulation in the floor/ceiling space, so ultimately a design flaw. We had heard that others below the pub had even worse noise issues. Apart from the issues above, the cabins are snug but well laid out and comfortable. Storage space needs a little redesign, much prefer shelves than drawers but that is a preference and my side of the bed did not have a shelf. The cabins are well maintained and if you are able to choose your cabin wisely, all should be fine. Shore Excursions: They range in price and quality but mostly very good, it really is port dependant as some ports are just better explored on foot by yourselves. Naturally the big iconic places like Athens, Venice, Santorini, etc are just amazing. Again, I urge you to do your homework about the ports, google them, look at specific forums and use the features that google maps can provided so you get a better understanding of the place and the logistics for self exploration and scheduled excursions. Ports: Some ports were not much to explore and docking a little far out to walk to the city but mostly good ports and easy access. In 2 ports there was an additional cost to shuttle to the city from the ship if you were not on a book excursion. That is a little disappointing but it is what it is. Several ports were simply stunning in terms of visual appeal (hello Venice, Malta for example) and easy free access to either just walk off, water shuttle service or shuttle bus. Kids Activities: Although we did have children with us, they seem well catered for and security surrounding their care was very well handled. Kids would love this ship. CRUISE WITH NCL AGAIN? That’s the question. We are not adverse to using them again but they are not our first preference. These cruises are designed to capture the party animal and families and we are not that way inclined. So it would depend on the ports, after all that is what cruising internationally is all about, at least for us. Be aware that the cost of the cruise does not include the shore excursions so you could effectively double the cost depending on your choices. Do your homework before you decide as you don’t have to book through them but it is easier to do so and there is a variety of tours for all budgets. For us, we will be cruising on HAL again later next year as part of another land/cruise tour package so we will make a report on that and a better comparison but we are considering another line altogether for a another trip. More on that if and when it becomes a definite trip. Ocean cruising is totally different from river cruises and you need to be aware of that. So our advice is look at the ports and how long each port stay lasts then compare the ships that do the cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We’re frequent cruisers (at least 2 cruises a year) and we decided to sail on the NCL Spirit (European itinerary from Civitavecchia, Italy. The ship was an older ship with Asian inspired decor. We normally sail on newer liners but ... Read More
We’re frequent cruisers (at least 2 cruises a year) and we decided to sail on the NCL Spirit (European itinerary from Civitavecchia, Italy. The ship was an older ship with Asian inspired decor. We normally sail on newer liners but they don’t tend to have this itinerary. However, our experience was fantastic! The staff was extremely friendly and the ship is fairly clean. The only downsize was that they would turn off the ac when docked and the rooms/hallways smelled like sewage at times. The entertainment was great with plenty to do. The “freestyle” experience is by far the best!! Freestyle on this liner literally means Freestyling! Dinning staff and crew were very attentive and extremely nice. We always had our glass of Chardonnay topped when seated. The food was also great tasking. My biggest advice would be to book a cabin with either a balcony or at least a window as we stayed inside and the cabin was pitch black. We never knew what time it was. Overall, this was a great experience and would most definitely sail NCL again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We choose cruises based on destination and pricing. We should have paid more attention to NCL Spirit's Greek Isles itinerary; it was busy; only one sea day at the beginning of the cruise. Most shore excursions began around 9 a.m., ... Read More
We choose cruises based on destination and pricing. We should have paid more attention to NCL Spirit's Greek Isles itinerary; it was busy; only one sea day at the beginning of the cruise. Most shore excursions began around 9 a.m., so there wasn't much leisure time onboard. Our cabin was comfortable, roomy enough. In the bathroom, the shower was actually "spacious", if you can say that about a cruise ship's shower! Entertainment aboard ship was outstanding! Specialty dining restaurants overall were great, maybe with the exception of Cagney's Steakhouse which we found disappointing. Le Bistro however, was outstanding. The Blue Lagoon cafe was quite nice. We used it several times. We would have preferred a few more trivia events. The theme, or motif on the Spirit is curious: Chinese! An interesting story about why it's that motif. We're not loyal to any particular cruise line, used 4 others on occasion. Overall, we'd give this NCL ship, and the cruise itself, a "3 star" rating. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I have always wanted to take a Mediterranean cruise and finally had the opportunity to do so. First time on NCL, and I was very impressed with the services. The Sprit is an older ship, and I thought they did a good job with the remolding. ... Read More
I have always wanted to take a Mediterranean cruise and finally had the opportunity to do so. First time on NCL, and I was very impressed with the services. The Sprit is an older ship, and I thought they did a good job with the remolding. We were a group of 10 and we all enjoyed the food, entertainment and port of calls. Although the freestyle was an adjustment for us, we were able to adjust with ease. Other adjustments we worked with are having to pay for their Specialty dining, which one was a steakhouse, the other served French, and I believe the other was Japanese food. 2 iof the restaurants, which were many favorites, were small and filed up quickly, it was difficult to sit a group, but eventually we were able to work it out. We also discovered that NCL charges for laundry, which is the only way to get your laundry done. I will definitely cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise due to the time of year and ports of call. We did read a lot of reviews and despite negativity citing ship age, food, cabin size etc, our recent experience was very good. My biggest issue is around the "Free ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the time of year and ports of call. We did read a lot of reviews and despite negativity citing ship age, food, cabin size etc, our recent experience was very good. My biggest issue is around the "Free on Board" advertising which I believe is not correct as nothing is free. When I spoke to our travel agent, she confirmed that you pay for everything up front - therefore once on board you don't pay anything. We considered the drinks package which for the 10 day cruise - with conversion rates and the obligatory 20% gratuity, equated to approx. $1000- each. Prices on board were quite excessive with the cheapest bottle of wine with the exchange rate and gratuities equated to approx. $45 Australian. A stubby was about $14 Australian. The staff were excellent, food options were good and the ship was well maintained and what we experienced quite clean. The entertainment on board was of a good quality. Overall it depends on what you are looking for and your expectations - but for us it was a good holiday that we selected mainly due to the ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I choose this cruise for the itinerary. Next time I might choose based on the ship itself reviews. NCL Spirit provided everything as a cruise ship does but it lacks the bells and whistles. It is dated and you can see the age, the decor ... Read More
I choose this cruise for the itinerary. Next time I might choose based on the ship itself reviews. NCL Spirit provided everything as a cruise ship does but it lacks the bells and whistles. It is dated and you can see the age, the decor is lacking. Buckles in the carpet, general wear and tear through out the ship. Our cabin room was musty, I lost my voice due to the dampness. The shower needed recaulking. The staff and crew were friendly and great! Cruise director was great, Encore was great! All the shows were great! I'd consider it again if the itinerary was perfect once more! The dining food flavors seem to run all together eventually. The desserts were never anything special. Pound cake/brownies made into 10 different desserts. Unless dancing or shows, there didnt seem to be alot of crowd participation. All in all, it was a good and memorable cruise. I do not feel anything was wasted or have any regrets. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My wife and I were cruising for my 40th birthday and loved the itinerary for this cruise. Nine ports in ten days and lots of time (in great places might I add) on shore to enjoy. Having been on a handful of other cruises I can say that ... Read More
My wife and I were cruising for my 40th birthday and loved the itinerary for this cruise. Nine ports in ten days and lots of time (in great places might I add) on shore to enjoy. Having been on a handful of other cruises I can say that the team on the Norwegian Spirit definitely stepped up and showed off. From the cabin staff to entertainment team and dining room servers (Bariane in the Windows Dining Room might be the best server we've had anywhere...requested him three times!) everyone was out to make sure that we had an amazing cruise. Really love the "Freestyle" concept with Norwegian's dining. In past cruises it was always such a pain to have to plan the entire evening around whatever our dinner time was. Loved that we could simply go eat when we wanted where we wanted for dinner...and never had more than a minute or two wait! The itinerary hit many of the great locations across Greece and Italy that are can't miss (Mykonos, Naples/Pompeii, Athens and more...and then in and out of Rome certainly didn't hurt). Positives: The staff was amazing across the board, food and food staff was great, lots of entertainment options to choose from, itinerary was excellent Negatives: Maintenance staff decided that 1a was a great time to take a reciprocating saw to pipes behind the walls on our floor (not cool), don't understand their policy for not allowing outside food to be brought on board (packaged or otherwise). Wife and I to force down a cannoli each that we bought just before getting on the ship and were hoping to eat later that evening as a snack...despite seeing another guest bringing on a whole pizza and wrapped cannolis when we were getting off the ship. Also would have liked to buy some pre-packaged pasta at a few of the Italian ports to bring home, but got pretty gun shy after the above incident. The two negatives above were by far outweighed by all of the other positive experiences that we had with the cruise and the cruise staff. Norwegian's team and Freestyling has moved them to the top of my list for future cruising! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I saw an advert for the cruise of the the Eastern Mediterranean, which reminded me of the days spent in this area with the Royal Navy, many years ago. The embarkation and disembarkation was so easy, compared with other cruise lines we ... Read More
I saw an advert for the cruise of the the Eastern Mediterranean, which reminded me of the days spent in this area with the Royal Navy, many years ago. The embarkation and disembarkation was so easy, compared with other cruise lines we had traveled with in the past. There were two places where the ship could not go alongside, they did NOT mess about with Tenders, in both places they had hired large boats, that went back and fro, from the ship all day. These boats could hold about 200 people at a time, it made going ashore the easiest I have ever seen. For its age, the Norwegian Spirit was in excellent condition. The Captain and Crew were all so friendly and mixed with the passengers. Frequently on other ships, you never even see the Captain. We had a Balcony stateroom plenty of room, the Toilet / Shower, was larger than most, The Windows Dining Room is fantastic, Huge Windows that look out of the stern of the ship. The entertainment was on every night, two performances, very good shows. The service was excellent, they could not do enough for you, always so helpful. The places we went were all so beautiful and historical, Rome, Santorini, Rhodes, Athens, Chania, Valletta, Naples. It was hard to get your head around all this in 10 days. Highly recommend this Cruise. Everything was wonderful, including the food and drinks Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We arrived in Rome, Italy and spent one night and half of the next day exploring Rome on our own. We stayed at the Hilton Rome Airport hotel because we arrived at midnight the night before embarkation.We used a private car service from the ... Read More
We arrived in Rome, Italy and spent one night and half of the next day exploring Rome on our own. We stayed at the Hilton Rome Airport hotel because we arrived at midnight the night before embarkation.We used a private car service from the hotel to take us to the Port Civitavecchia. He charged us $140Euros for the two of us and all our luggage. The boarding of the ship was easy and we waited minimally. The ship itself is amazing and had lots to do. We enjoyed all the ports we visited. We didn't purchase any of the shore excursions because we thought they were to expensive. We did do a few tours from local tours that were offered and they were just as great and much less expensive. We did the Almafi Coast, Sorrento and Pompeii tour with Peter and a Santorini tour as well. Only complaint is that because there were 3 other cruise ships at Santorini it felt very crowded when we visited Oia. I must give a huge shout out to Director Dave on NCL - SPIRIT ship! He is awesome! He brings the spirit. I connected with him on the 2nd day of the cruise and asked him to help me plan out the proposal to my girlfriend, Emily on board the ship. He planned for me to propose in the Galaxy Club and set us up to be sat up front to the stage where he proceeded to ask us questions about where we were from and then gave me the mic. I was able to propose to Emily and then they played our son, "It had to be You" by Frank Sinatra. Dave hooked us up with a bottle of Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries as a amazing gift to our engagement. I can't thank him and the rest of the staff for helping plan this milestone. Thank you to NCL Staff & Director Dave Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Of our numerous cruise experiences, this was our fourth one with NCL and ranks in fourth place of our NCL experiences. This was our third time on the NCL Spirit. This time we saw signs of the need to update and refurbish. Carpet is ... Read More
Of our numerous cruise experiences, this was our fourth one with NCL and ranks in fourth place of our NCL experiences. This was our third time on the NCL Spirit. This time we saw signs of the need to update and refurbish. Carpet is spotted and stained and coming apart at seams in places. Attention to detail for the passenger was lacking in many regards; especially for persons with disabilities. Miscommunication and bad information was provided several times by impatient NCL employees. The detail of providing for an outstanding cruise experience just did not exist in the same way as we have experienced previously on NCL. In speaking with other passengers with disabilities, we discovered this theme repeating among many of them. There was limited assistance and sometimes none for embarking and disembarking the ship. Sometimes when the elevators were closed for disembarking purposes we had to walk extensively out of the way to another elevator series. We followed NCL instructions for getting assistance to disembark at the final port but never received assistance. In order to meet our connection time, we hobbled of the ship among the last passengers to leave the ship. We nearly missed our connection because of incorrect information provided by a young NCL officer who was rude and impatient with people with special needs. He blamed the problem on NCL not providing him with sufficient personnel and wheel chairs and took no ownership of resolving the problem. Internet access was an expensive joke. When you sign up for wireless service they don't tell you until afterwards that it does not work well in cabins because of "all the walls." You need to be in public space which is not necessarily convenient depending on what you need to accomplish on the internet for business purposes. I am still addressing ship phone charges for times when our cell phones were not connected. The ports were great. We had a great time in spite of the NCL disappointments. It will be awhile before we book again on NCL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I chose this cruise because of the fantastically low price, but I was soon to find out why the price was so low. The Mediterranean itinerary was very attractive and included Israel and Cyprus, two places I had never been. The cabin (9572) ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the fantastically low price, but I was soon to find out why the price was so low. The Mediterranean itinerary was very attractive and included Israel and Cyprus, two places I had never been. The cabin (9572) a balcony was a very nice room with plenty of space and the bed was very comfortable. This was about the only good thing I could say about this cruise. The food on this cruise left much to be desired. The only good meals that I had during the 11 nights o board were in the specialty restaurants, Cagneys Steakhouse and the Japanese Steakhouse. The Garden and Windows Restaurants, which are the main dining rooms, were adequate, but very slow. Raffles, the buffet, was terrible. The food was usually cold and it was the same, night after night. The small dining area near the casino was Ok, serving hamburgers, hot dogs etc. The food service employees appear to just go through the motions of bringing you your food, which is one reason I am not a fan of the Freestyle dining. There is no incentive for them to give you good service as they may not see you again for the rest of the cruise. They even charge $7.95 for the delivery of room service. I guess one employee at Raffles summed it up quite well. He observed that I was not very happy with the selection of food and asked what the problem was, I simply replied " I'm just tired of the same food every night", to which he replied "Imagine having to eat this garbage every nigh of a 9 month contract". We both laughed. The entertainment was average, with the usual cruise shows. The Casino was terrible. there were not many people gambling and the tables were usually empty. I saw very few people being paid on the machines and there was just no fun atmosphere. This was definitely not a "Fun Ship" (ie. Carnival). In the end, I was very happy to get off of this cruise. I was able to finally get a good meal in Venice! I should have listened to advise, that if something seems to good to be true, it usually is! This KMART type bargain cruise was definitely not worth the money. Look to another cruise line if you are looking for good food and a good time! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We were recently at the Norwegian Spirit that sailed to Limassol, Cyprus and Haifa Israel. It was a memorable cruise - one, the itinerary was really great, we made good friends in the ship, and the ship crew had been friendly/helpful (in ... Read More
We were recently at the Norwegian Spirit that sailed to Limassol, Cyprus and Haifa Israel. It was a memorable cruise - one, the itinerary was really great, we made good friends in the ship, and the ship crew had been friendly/helpful (in spite of the commotion when many passengers had to make new travel arrangements due to the Venice fog that prevented us from arriving at the port on the planned time.) We enjoyed the entertainments and the food was good for the most part of the cruise. We enjoy NCL because the crew are happy and treated well by the company (we have on one that the crew were so miserable it dampened the mood of holiday) - we see supervisors helping out all the time. It is a relaxed atmosphere. We were told of the luxury of other cruise lines eg. Oceania - but we sail NCL because luxury cruises are not within the budget, we are easy to please because we believe we can make our holiday as fun or as miserable as we want to (barring unexpected glitches beyond our control.) We loved this itinerary and not everyone will agree but we will sail NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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