June 2014 - Norwegian Spirit to Europe - Mediterranean
Our family of 11 (with 4 children 8=14) really enjoyed this cruise. For a first trip to Europe for many of us, we saw a lot. We did go early and spent 2 nights in Rome and 2 in Venice before the cruise. I highly recommend doing this, especially with children. There is no way we could have seen what we did in Rome (comfortably) in one day. The younger ones loved the kids club and the 14 yr old LOVED the teen area and activities. We seldom saw her when we were on the ship. Several of my family have serious dietary challenges and NCL was extremely accomodating for them. They didn't have to worry if there were unacceptable items in their food. This was WONDERFUL! I wasn't too impressed with the rest of the food, but it was OK. A few items were really enjoyable both in the dining room and buffet. I can't say enough about the staff. Everyone I came in contact with was smiling, happy and HELPFUL. I did have a small complaint about the balcony cabins with 3 people. The fold out couch took up all the space from the wall to the desk. It was impossible to get to the balcony or use the desk without climbing over the bed if it was open-and it was usually open when we were in the room (it was closed when they made up the room after we went out for the day and opened up again when we were at dinner). Another foot or two to allow passage at all times would have been very nice. For children and first time travelers to Europe, the ports were a nice selection. Do your homework and you can find just as nice and less expensive ways to see the ports than on an NCL shore excursion. An example is in Istanbul there is a 1.4TL tram from near the ship directly to the Blue Mosque, Sophia Haggia, and the Topkapi Museum. It is only a short 10 minute walk from the Blue Mosque to THE BAZAAR. There is also easy public transportation to Piza where you can spend as long as you want holding up the leaning tower. I can't imagine using a tour on Mykonos. The charming downtown area with its narrow winding streets, tiny churches at every turn, small restaurants and the windmills is just a short walk from the shuttle busses. I enjoyed being on a smaller ship. Getting on and off the ship in port was never crowded and seldom had any line. There was usually room wherever I went, and the buffet, while often full of people, was easy to manage. Best of all, this senior citizen didn't have to walk too far for anything on the ship. While the entertainment wasn't top notch, it was still entertaining and the dancers had so much energy. We enjoyed our cruise!