February 2016 - 14 Night Western & Eastern Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Spirit
This was our third cruise and also our friend's third cruise, but our first one together. This was a great getaway for four people who really needed to get away. We got time to catch up and 7-days wasn't enough for that! Don't get me wrong, we had an enjoyable time but it wasn't an awesome cruise experience. So here are the good, bad and lessons learned, in no particular order.
1. First time in an interior room with no outside light, probably won't do that again it is too easy to sleep through breakfast.
2. Why, if I am on vacation does a sit-down breakfast stop seating at 9 or 9:30? 3. It's nice to have a sit down breakfast, but seriously staff and I don't want to be rushed, but it shouldn't be an 1 1/2 hour affair.
4. Our sink leaked which meant that we couldn't put anything under the sink because it would get soggy and they couldn't get it fixed.
5. I would like to see more varied entertainment in the small venues. Maybe add a comedy act for a couple days, something more than music. Also, no place for quiet conversation.
6. We will cruise later in the season next time, we spent all but 3 out of 7 days inside because it was windy, cold and raining. We could only hang out on deck part of 2 days and then it was difficult getting deck chairs because everyone was sick of being inside.
7. Missed a port because of 'weather.' Not sure if that was a truth or if the issue was we had to use a tender because there were already 3 huge ships docked, so on a beautiful day we sailed by Grand Cayman. Saved a few thousand dollars by doing that, so I guess it was a plus and a minus. Just don't like the feeling that we were told a fib. Also, in Ocho Rios we joked that we parked in 'the ghetto," while the Galaxy of the Seas had prime parking.
8. Never had an issue getting a seat at the show. The shows were not awesome, spectacular events except for the second to the last night, the Elements show. Also, the crew talent show was entertaining.
9. The Spirit is 19 years old and I don't know the last time it was refurbished but the furnishings were a bit tired. Chipped, scratched and beat up. Out bathroom vanity had chunks out of it - how does that even happen?
10. The crew was polite and helpful. Our room steward was ok, but he kept taking the washcloths and not replacing them. I hung them, he didn't need to take them. He also kept taking the pool towels and not replacing them. When we first got to our room we didn't have pool towels, hand towels or wash cloths. Just bath towels. He did wrangle me an extra blanket. Tipped him for that.
11. Beds are hard, like rocks.
12. The free drink package is a great option unless you don't drink at all or very very little. Go see Norman in the Galaxy, he's funny.
13. The fish and chips in the Blue Lagoon are awesome. Yum.
14. Check the menus in the main dining before making reservations in special dining. They are all posted on Deck 12. Cagney's fills up fast, but I actually enjoyed Teppanyaki more.
15. The casino is smokey. Very smokey, I wish they would set aside a space for non-smokers at the slots. I went once, but wouldn't go back because my clothes stunk.
16. Pack an air freshener or two and some febreeze. After 5 days the clothes in the closet tend to not smell as fresh. The little ones you hang in the car are probably adequate.
17. Bring a set of clothes that is one size bigger that you can wear the last night or even elastic waistbands. My pants started getting a bit tight.
18. Don't miss the guacamole in Raffles for snack.
19. We flew in a day early and rented a car to go to Port Canaveral. For four people it was about $90 less than NCL transportation to the airport, plus we had a way to get to our hotel, Epcot and to pick up a few last minute purchases.
20. Take NCL transportation back to the airport after the cruise, more than renting a car but they have the process down to a science.
21. I almost forgot, bring a hairdryer if it takes more than 5 minutes to dry your hair. The hair dryers will give you a second degree burn if you hold it more than that, they are hot, but don't really blow well.
22. Oh and one more. My Carnival cruises included a robe in the cabin. NCL does not. I didn't bring my robe because I thought there would be one for me to use.
This probably isn't everything, all in all it was a good cruise, but next time will probably look for a newer and maybe bigger ship with more 'stuff.' Did enjoy to adults only area on one of our cruises.
and don't forget
22. Washy, Washy, Happy, Happy