Pleasantly Surprised! Under Promise and Over Perform! Loved the Ship and Staff!: Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by att2detail
Overall Member Rating
Pleasantly Surprised! Under Promise and Over Perform! Loved the Ship and Staff!
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
The staff, Crew & service were top notch. Best we have had on any cruise.
Cruise Director: Dave--loved him. I don't think he ever sleeps. The rest of the cruise directors staff were also outstanding. They all work very hard and are always helpful and happy!
Meet and Greet: We had a Cruise Critic Meet and Greet--several top members of the crew attended and they provided food and beverages. NCL did a great job- it was the best organized Meet and Greet I have attended.
The food, compared to other lines, was very underwhelming, & redundant in the main dining rooms, but was still acceptable. Le Bristol was outstanding & Cagney's was very good. I would skip the Italian restaurant-not up to par.
We did not try any of the Asian options, but More they seemed popular.
The 24 hour Blue Lagoon was not really open 24 hours (at least is was not open the one time we tried to get something to eat between breakfast and lunch on a sea day), and when it was open, it was very crowded, but the food looked and smelled wonderful.
The BBQ on the pool deck smelled and looked tasty, but we did not try it.
Breakfast: We ate breakfast in the Windows dining room most days. The menu NEVER changes--your options are the same every day. A very important item to note is that NCL does not offer "Brunch" on sea days. If you are not in the main dining room before 9:00 AM you are out of luck and will have to wait until 11:30 for lunch.
Lunch in the main dining room was also basically the same each day, but there was some variation--I think there might be two different lunch menus they alternate.
Buffet: We avoid the buffet, but I would walk through occasionally. It was generally very crowded, but there appeared to be several stations and options. During the lunch period they offer scooped ice cream, but it runs out quickly. The two times I was able to try some, it was excellent. The 3 times I tried the soft serve, it was either not working or would come out so soft you could not do a cone.
Sea Day Brunch--not offered
High Tea--Not offered
Bars: The service in the bars was the best we have had and we tried all of them. Almost the minute you would sit down, someone would ask if you wanted a drink and they were prompt and correctly made and delivered.. The Pool Deck bar was never crowded--there was never more than 1-2 people in line. I highly recommend the Mango Meltdown for an afternoon cold treat.
Cabin: Our mid ship balcony on deck 9 was very clean, very quiet, but on the small side. The bathroom was the largest and nicest we have had which made up for the smallish room. The Balcony was average. Our Steward, Rey was outstanding and greeted us by name day one. He quickly learned our routine and was waiting for us in the evening when we returned and would open the door for us so we did not have to find our key. We always had clean towels and a clean room. He quickly removed the items from the refrigerator so we could use it for our water, etc. Although not necessary for us, we were treated to a fabulous towel animal/creature each night. Around day 3 of the cruise, Rey left a large and very nice bar of soap for us to use in the shower. This is an old ship and smoking used to be permitted in the rooms. There were a couple of times when we did get a slight cigarette smell in the room, but it was not all the time and it did not last.
The entertainment varied from excellent to skip it:
Nightly Shows in the Stardust:
Day 1: Welcome Aboard Show - very good--a bit of many of the other shows
Day 2: Mistika Magic Show - average--not horrible, but not outstanding. Unless you really love magic, and or have nothing else to do, this is a show that can be skipped.
Day 3 World Beat - Outstanding--don't miss this one
Day 4: Ancora - Outstanding-especially if you enjoy Opera--another not to miss. Even if this type of music is not your "thing" it is worth the hour investment.
Day 5 Spencer Robson Impressionist--he does singing impressions--he has a good voice, but his impressions are not very good. He tries hard and has a good stage presence. If you have nothing else to do, go to the show, otherwise, skip this one.
Day 6: Ineffable Two--Outstanding! Don't miss this show
Day 7 Marco Romano Vocalist/Tenor--he was very good. I would encourage you to attend this show.
Day 8 Soul Rockin' Nights--more like Rockin' Nights--not much soul, but it was an excellent show--one you don't want to miss.
Day 9 Spencer Robson--back again--we did not attend--once was enough, so I don't know if he did a different or better show. He sings well, and he sings recognizable and sing along tunes, so it could be fun if you have nothing else to do.
Day 10 Elements--Outstanding--A must see!! At the end the entire crew and staff appear to thank us for sailing with them. We were very impressed!! Bring your cameras.
Day 11 Farewell Concert with Prism - we did not attend, but heard them throughout the cruise. They are very good.
Other Nightly Entertainment:
Ian West piano melodies - he plays well, but does not have much of a singing voice, but still fun.
BMW Trio--band of old guys, who do a nice job. We enjoyed really them.
Guitar Vocals with Jefferson--their shows were always well attended. They do a great job.
Embarkation/Debarkation--Outstanding! Very organized and quick. Very impressed.
Enrichment Activities: We don't do trivia, slots, game shows, Art, Bingo, health sales, spa, etc, but did attend the crew and officers "Operations of the NCL Spirit" Here is a helpful hint, they video the game shows, port explanations, Operations seminar, a few other things, so if you missed something and want to see it, just turn on the TV.
Fitness & Recreation: We did not use the fitness center, but it looked well equipped. We did speed walk on the jogging track several times. It is supposed to be "one way", but NCL needs to add additional arrows showing the "one way" because some guests did not understand how it worked.
Shore Excursions-We did not do any ships excursions. All of ours were private small group excursions.
Tendering was organized and quick--no issues getting off for private tours.
Other: You have to pull your ship card out and hand it to the crew--they can't just scan it for drinks, purchases, etc. Photos are still being done the old way where they print them and put them on display so you have to "hunt" for them.
Smoking: The Casino is at one end of the ship, so you do not have to pass through it to get to another place. This was a huge plus for us. The Port side of the ship in many open areas is the designated for smoking --important to note if you want to avoid smokers. We had a port side cabin and did not notice any smells when we were sitting out.
Over all we loved the Spirit. The service, staff and crew made up for any other short comings. In fact, we loved the Spirit so much we booked another cruise for the same time next year. Less
Cabin review: BB9570 Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin: Our mid ship balcony on deck 9 was very clean, very quiet, but on the small side. The bathroom, specifically the shower, was the largest and nicest we have had which made up for the smallish room. The Balcony was average. Our Steward, Rey was outstanding and greeted us by name day one. He quickly learned our routine and was waiting for us in the evening when we returned and would open the door for us so we did not have to find our key. We always had clean towels and a clean room. He quickly removed the items from the refrigerator so we could use it for our water, etc. Although not necessary for us, we were treated to a fabulous towel animal/creature each night. Around day 3 of the cruise, Rey left a large and very nice bar of soap for us to use in the shower. This is an old ship and smoking used to be permitted in the rooms. There were a couple of times when we did get a slight cigarette smell in the room, but it was not all the time and it did not last.Read All Mid-Ship Balcony (BB) Reviews >>
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