Norwegian Spirit Review

Editor Rating:  4.0
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Norwegian Spirit Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    3.8
    4.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.2
    4.0
  • Cabins
    3.8
    3.0
  • Entertainment
    3.7
    5.0
  • Spa & Fitness
    3.6
    4.0
  • Family & Children
    3.5
    4.0
  • Shore Excursions
    3.7
    3.0
  • Enrichment
    3.3
    2.0
  • Service
    4.1
    4.0
  • Value-for-Money
    3.9
    4.0
Editor Rating
4.0
Member Rating
Why Choose Norwegian Spirit?
  • Pro: Lively ship that's been continually updated and refreshed.
  • Con: Activities on smaller ship more limited than on line's larger vessels.
  • Bottom Line: Expect a smaller, friendlier ship based primarily in Europe that boasts a more international clientele than other Norwegian vessels.

Norwegian Spirit Overview

By Fran Golden, Cruise Critic contributor

The 2,018-passenger Norwegian Spirit debuted in 1998. You won't find a rock-climbing wall, bowling alley or some of the other whiz-bang features offered by some of the fleet's bigger, newer ships, but enjoyment doesn't always have to come in an ultra-modern package.

Spirit has 11 restaurants, eight bars and lounges, as well as plenty of family features. And it's a lively, friendly ship to boot. Despite its age, regular refurbishments, including a late-2008 overhaul, have kept the teenage ship looking fresh.

The ship debuted as Malaysia-based Star Cruises' SuperStar Leo (Star's parent company, Genting Hong Kong owns a 50 percent share of NCL). Transferred to NCL in 2004, Norwegian Spirit still boasts a pleasing, Asia-inspired decor that includes artifacts on display -- an antique vase here, a mannequin in Samurai costume there (little museum-like plaques tell you what's what). Staircases have wood and iron railings, the atrium boasts glass elevators and waterfalls, and the color palette is more mellow than over-the-top (no neon tones as on newer NCL vessels). The overall effect is that Norwegian Spirit feels like a fancier ship. Excellent service enhances the experience -- from the moment you board, there are touches of pampering.

During its 2008 renovation, the ship was outfitted with a new diesel engine, and 11 cabins were added (eight with balconies). The Stardust Theater got new red-velvet seats, and nearly all the upholstery and carpeting on the ship was replaced. (The carpet in cabin hallways varies by deck, so you can tell you're on the right one by looking at the carpet color.) Also added were a new phone system and wireless Internet access.

But the biggest change is that teens now control the Celebrity Disco, giving them their own private hideaway on Deck 13, at the opposite end of the ship from the younger kids' facilities -- something teens will, no doubt, hold over their younger siblings. The video arcade has also moved, from Deck 10 to a more prominent spot on Deck 7, and is geared toward the teen crowd with games like Downhill Bikes and Target Terror.

But the thing we enjoyed most on this ship was its lighthearted attitude and a prevailing sense of humor. Example? A Captain's invite read "free drinks on the Captain (we mean, with the Captain)."

Norwegian Spirit Fellow Passengers

The shipboard crowd ranges from toddlers to seniors, with many in the middle range. NCL's "Freestyle Cruising" appeals to a casual and unpretentious clientele, and the overall cruise-ship vibe is young and fun. Family groups choose this ship for the hundreds of connecting staterooms, and the children's center is one of the best at sea.

Norwegian Spirit Dress Code

The dress code is casual. Shorts are not allowed in the main or specialty dining rooms after 5 p.m. The Windows dining room is reserved for those who want to dress up a little at night (something beyond jeans), but it's not a formal ship. There's no need to pack a tux -- or even a suit.

Norwegian Spirit Gratuity

Norwegian charges a "service fee" of $13.99 per person, per day, for passengers booked in standard cabins and mini-suites. Those in suites are charged $16.99 per person, per day. Cruisers wishing to adjust or remove the charges must fill out a form post-cruise to request a refund.

Norwegian recommends that suite passengers who use butler and concierge services tip according to the level of service rendered.

An 18 percent gratuity will be added to all bar purchases and services in the spa and salon.



Next:  Norwegian Spirit Cabins

By Fran Golden, Cruise Critic contributor

1,698 Norwegian Spirit Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Janeboyd
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
Choose this particular cruise because of the port stops. Embarkation was very smooth,we had a balcony cabin 11108 ( mid ship) which was a little dated but very clean. Beds very comfortable and adequate wardrobe and storage space, no ... Read more
Donnyzenny
Member Since 2017
2 reviews
4 forum posts
0 helpful votes
I have been on 7 cruises before, mostly Celebrity and Princess but the Norwegian Spirit cruise was the very best. The staff treat you as special guests and small things like 'Animal towels' in your cabin in the evenings made it extra ... Read more
crismjones
Member Since 2010
2 reviews
63 forum posts
0 helpful votes
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Italy, Malta and Greece. The ship is the oldest of the NCL fleet but is in good condition. We had balcony cabin # 11558. It was clean and comfortable. The bathroom is on the small side, ... Read more
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