• Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Norwegian Spirit Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2078 reviews
38 Awards
Norwegian Spirit
Norwegian Spirit Dining
Norwegian Spirit Cabins
Norwegian Spirit Activity/Entertainment
See all photos
Editor Rating
Very Good
Tiana Templeman
Cruise Critic Contributor

The 2,016-passenger Norwegian Spirit debuted in 1998 so you won't find a rock climbing wall, bowling alley or some of the other whizbang features offered by the line's bigger, newer ships, but enjoyment doesn't always have to come in an ultramodern package. Given this ship is only used for port intensive itineraries, even active cruisers are unlikely to miss the bells and whistles.


Lively ship that's been continually updated and refreshed.


Activities on smaller ship more limited than on line's larger vessels.

Bottom Line

Excellent value for the high quality of food, service and itineraries


Passengers : 2,016
Crew : 975
Passenger to Crew : 2.07:1
Launched : 1998
Shore Excursions : 425

Though Norwegian Spirit is one of the line's oldest ships, it has been well looked after with thoughtful and regular refurbishments. Staircases have wood and iron railings, the soaring atrium has glass elevators and the color palette is more mellow than over-the-top (no neon tones as on some newer Norwegian Cruise Line vessels). Its smaller size and traditional features make it a good choice for cruise travelers who want to feel like they're onboard an oceangoing vessel rather than a huge theme park at sea.

While Norwegian Spirit is in excellent condition, the ship does show its age in certain areas, largely due to outdated decor. Some of the ship's original Asia-inspired design details -- think plenty of burnished gold and warrior statues guarding the restaurants -- from its days as Malaysia-based Star Cruises' SuperStar Leo are looking out of date. So too are the cabins, which are beautifully maintained but decked out in '90s hues with pastel bathroom tiles that are so behind the times, they'll likely be in back in fashion again soon.

That said, you're unlikely to notice these things (even those terrible fish and shell tiles in the bathroom) after a few days. Food is impressive across all dining venues, not just those with a surcharge, and itineraries feature perks that are not always offered on other big ships in Europe. On our cruise, an overnight stay in Venice and late departure from Valetta in Malta were notable highlights.

Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts

Get Norwegian Spirit price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.

We found Norwegian Spirit to be one of the happiest cruise ships we've sailed, filled with contented passengers and a smiling, engaged and enthusiastic crew who can't do enough for them. It's almost as if the crew try that little bit harder to make up for the fact that Spirit is a slightly older ship. But while Spirit is not the newest vessel in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, this welcoming ship goes to show that good things can come in small packages.

Fellow Passengers

The majority of passengers on Norwegian Spirit are from North America. The rest are a mixture of people from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. The shipboard crowd ranges from toddlers to seniors, with many in the middle range. Norwegian Cruise Line's "Freestyle Cruising" concept appeals to a casual and unpretentious clientele, and the overall cruise-ship vibe is convivial, young and fun. Family groups choose this ship for the hundreds of connecting staterooms, although the somewhat dated children's facilities may not suit those with under 12s who expect the latest in children's shipboard entertainment. Teens who enjoy exploring onshore with their parents during the day and hanging out onboard with new-found friends in the evening should have a ball.

Norwegian Spirit Dress Code

Overall, the onboard vibe is casual and relaxed. Shorts are allowed in The Garden Room dining room after 5 p.m. while the Windows dining room is reserved for those who want to dress up a little at night, but it's not a formal ship. In the evening, women favor closed-toe shoes or smart sandals, knee-length dresses, pants and blouses, while men don collared shirts and khakis. Norwegian ships don't have formal nights, but each sailing offers at least one "Dress Up or Not Night," on which passengers can dress up if they want to.

Find a Norwegian Spirit Cruise from $399

Any Month

More about Norwegian Spirit

Where does Norwegian Spirit sail from?

Norwegian Spirit departs from Sydney, Auckland, Honolulu, Vancouver, Seward, and Tahiti

How much does it cost to go on Norwegian Spirit?

Cruises on Norwegian Spirit start from $399 per person.

Is Norwegian Spirit a good ship to cruise on?

Norwegian Spirit won 38 awards over the years.
Norwegian Spirit Cruiser Reviews

Norwegian Spirit Promotion

#NCLSpiritoftheSeason #norwegiancruiselineauz #NorwegianSpirit Wow just had an amazing time being shown the Norwegian Spirit.Read More
User Avatar

10+ Cruises

Age 60s

Moorea Paradise

The staff on Norwegian Spirit were excellent. Especially the dining waiters and cooks.Read More
User Avatar

2-5 Cruises

Age 60s

Wonderful South Pacific

We have been on the Spirit before and were looking forward to seeing the ship refitted. We were not disappointed, even though one of the entertainment areas was still being refitted.Read More
User Avatar

10+ Cruises

Age 60s

All is GREAT

Normally, the theater is located "forward" but on the Spirit, it is "Aft" (Go Figure) NCL Spirit is the line's oldest ship so the latest bells-and-whistles are not available.Read More
User Avatar

10+ Cruises

Age 90s

Norwegian Cruise Line Fleet
Norwegian Sky
Show more
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.
About UsCruise DestinationsFirst Time CruisersFind A Cruise

Share your feedback

International Sites

© 1995—2023, The Independent Traveler, Inc.

  • Privacy and Cookies Statement

  • Terms of Use

  • Site Map

  • Cookie Consent