June 2015 - 12 Night Grand Mediterranean (Barcelona To Venice) Cruise on Norwegian Spirit
I just completed my first NCL experience and while the port itinerary was terrific, I was disappointed with many aspects of the NCL cruise experience itself. The ship is rather tired looking with an Asian decor. Based upon my prior experiences with NCL competitors, I was not expecting the constant barrage of on-board extra fees I experienced on this ship. The main dining room food was, at best, mediocre. As a result, we tried several of the speciality restaurants (with a $15-30 per person uplift) for dinner and found them to be quite good. However, I did not like to feel compelled to pay an uplift to get a decent meal. We purchased the Internet package (extra $300) and were told our entire family would have Internet access. They neglected to tell us not simultaneously. When the Internet was working, it was rather slow and therefore unusable to access services which are timeout sensitive (ex: my work's VPN access for email). Additionally, several days it did not work at all. When I went to discuss my concerns with the Internet cafe manager regarding the lack of service for fees paid, he was the most rude, arrogant, condescending individual I've come across in quite a while. I'm sure he was dealing with a lot of unhappy passengers based upon the poor services, but, NCL needs to remind him he is in a customer service business (or replace him). A couple of the nightly shows were mildly entertaining, but, others were just downright difficult to sit through. The English movie channel on the TV in the cabin was very limited and repetitive. We did enjoy the flexibility of the open dining schedule and eating breakfast on the rear deck each morning was a treat. In conclusion, we spent enough time off the ship in fabulous ports to have an enjoyable family vacation, but, I'd be hard pressed to recommend NCL to others.