We took this cruise for our honeymoon, overall or trip was amazing. But that's solely due to the port of calls. Each city/town is just beyond beautiful. However, the ship is just OK, and the staff was less than ok comparatively to other cruises I've been on from other cruise lines. Remember that twelve days is a LOT of time to spend on a ship you aren't overly impressed with. The Spirit is smaller and rocks a lot. The staff is mainly concerned with money. Most of the planned activities on board that sound remotely interesting cost an additional $20-40 and they charge for shuttling to and from ports. Just a heads up, they make you itemize your laundry, so if you do wish to utilize their laundry service it will cost an astounding $100 for ONE LOAD and they do not have laundry facilities for passengers to use themselves. The pool was not used by any passengers because it was too cold and the hot tubs were luke warm. The food in the main dining halls are excellent however they kept putting my husband and I seated only next to the kitchen or dish stations EVERY SINGLE TIME and the service for a restaurant was not great, not exactly where you want to spend your dinners on your honeymoon. Overall, our experience was that you do not get to spend enough time in each of these amazing cities. And remember, if you do not book shore excursions every day and brave public transport, do your research on how long it takes to get to some of these cities from port (i.e. To get to Rome using buses and trains it takes 4 hours round trip and costs roughly $30 a person). We highly recommend booking shore excursions on the days you're in major cities (as these cities are about 5 million in population and there's just no other way you'd get around and see everything you want to see). In the smaller towns, it was easy to take shuttles and just walk and explore by yourselves. Just don't forget good walking shoes! Given the chance though, we'd still do the cruise all over again. Make sure to spend an extra few days in Venice if you can!! Hope this is helpful to everyone!
The best part of the cruise was all the wonderful stops. For the most part the ship was good but does need some updating. We had a nice room but bathroom was small and the shower needed a good cleaning some mold and broken tiles. The staff were pretty friend but when getting off in different ports if you didn't use NCL they weren't always so helpful. The food was good but the 1 buffet that everyone used for breakfast before leaving the ship could get a little crazy and they ran out of coffee a couple of times. We loved Henrys Pup for drinks the bartenders were excellent but they did run out of the draft beer a few days before the cruise was over. Overall it was a good Cruise but not great but with some changes I think it could be great.
Itinerary was great with plenty of time in ports for exploring. Ship was fair but has a very attentive staff. A little too much cruising between time Dubrovnik/Kotor/Venice (would have been a plus to arrive in Venice before 10 PM).
We love the ports we visited. Toulon was a magical city, Florence (Tuscany) was like a dream. Naples (Pompei) was a awe inspiring experience. Exploring Naples was fun and having Pizza at a sidewalk cafe topped it off. Mykonos was breathtaking, so we're Dubrovnik and Kotor. We would return in a heartbeat!
We loved our balcony stateroom and the ship was beautiful. We enjoyed the casino, the shows and the ships band. The crew was very friendly and service was great. The food was delicious and the only complaint I have was the lack of a midnight buffet. Finding something to eat after a night of playing in the casino or dancing in galaxy of the stars was difficult.
I think I enjoyed the staff. I've never had such friendly staff. Even the bands and one of the cruise director staff knew our names. I loved our room. It was a balcony but at the back of the aft and it was about 1.4 size of a room.
To improve, I think the tour packages could use some updating. Too much time spent in a bus in Croatia. An hour's drive to Sorrento but we went straight to lunch and then straight to the hydro boat to go to Capri. There was no seeing Sorrento. It took 20 minutes to get in Coliseum and tour director then took 20 minutes to explain the coliseum and the gladiators. That only left 20 minutes to see the coliseum. $400 for a tour and we only had 20 minutes. When I suggested that if they are giving us free time, to tell us before the talk so we could have had 40 minutes. She was upset and said be glad you got 20 minutes, the other group is already on the bus. There is more about her but really, if I'm paying that kind of money per person for the tour. I expect more than 20 minutes. She could have done the explanation on the bus. I did not come to Rome and pay for this expensive tour to hear her talk and take away my time there.
Also, Norwegian no longer allows for liquids to come aboard for "safety" reasons. Ok. I get that. But, I don't think that is true. 6 larger bottles of water was $23. Come on, they no longer allow it so they can charge you incredible prices. Other cruise ships still allow liquids.
My husband and I sailed on the Spirit as our first cruise and we did not know what to expect. The food was great, the drinks were great and the balcony stateroom was comfy and large enough. The pool is small and there are not enough chairs around the pool to accommodate everyone for at-sea days. Guests leave towels on the chairs to reserve them very early in the morning and then do not return for many hours and sometimes not at all. This was annoying and even though NCL stated in their daily newsletter they had a policy against reserving chairs, nothing was ever done. The pool was also very cold. There was not much to do on the ship while at-sea other than be around the pool so it became frustrating at times. There was also not much to do in the evenings either. It lacked entertainment. We are a younger couple in our late 20's so maybe that is why we did not enjoy the entertainment they did offer. Other than the pool and entertainment situations it was a great cruise.
My favorite part of the cruise was the evening entertainment in the theater,.
The worst part f the cruise was the "freestyle dining" which was a fancy name for cafeteria dining and the food was awful. If you wanted a decent meal without screaming kids running around you or nearly tripping over kitchen staff's mops, you had to pay to go to one of the restaurants on board. Having cruised before, I consider this an absolute rip off - as was having to pay $28.00 to have 10 postcards mailed, $7.00 for a liter bottle of water, $21.00 for two cocktails of the day and $13.50 per day gratuities for the staff!
Improvements need to be made in the way the staff responds to passengers who are breaking the rules. They are hesitant to say anything and if they do say something and are ignored, they do nothing more.
A new rule needs instigating about children using the hot tubs on the Tivoli deck. The children's pool area has it's own hot tub but there was many a time when adults couldn't get into the tubs on the Tivoli deck for the number of children already in it.
All in all, I wold not recommend this cruise to anyone.
Eat at one of two main dining rooms as much as possible for exceptional steak, seafood, etc. If you do that most of the time (rather than the buffet), no need to pay for premium dining. Also, a great 24 hour diner on board has amazing chicken wings and fish n' chips... beats the buffet!
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