Tired

Tired
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Joined: 06/30/2015
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Norwegian Spirit

June 2015 - Norwegian Spirit to Europe - Mediterranean

Great Ports, Cruise Ship Experience... Not So Great

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.

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Tired's Tips

Venice, Italy - Very picturesque. A photographer's dream. No need for shore excursion at this port. Walk 15 mins to the public water taxis at Piazzale Roma from the ship and take Vaporetto #1 to St. Marks Square. A 20 euro day pass allows you to jump on and off Vaporettos all day.
Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey - Ephesus is a must see. Be sure to enter Ephesus at the top entry gate (not the lower one) and walk down. Much easier walk. The cliff houses are worth the extra admissions fee, lots of stairs though. The cliff houses have very nice frescos and mosaics. House of Virgin Mary is OK if you have the time, but, not a must do.
Toulon, France - Go to Aix-en-Provence, Marseille and Cassis. A full day, but you will have fun and a very good feel for the area.
Mykonos, Greece - Basically only shopping and the beach. Rent an ATV or scooter for fun and getting to the beach. No need for shore excursion at this port.
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy - You must plan a shore excursion from this port. The dock is in a highly industrial and not very pretty area. Florence is a drive, but, definitely worth it. Pisa and It's tower is fun, but, you don't need much time there.
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy - Rome was fantastic. Too much to see for your short time in port. Try to find a small cafe for lunch and try the Pasta alla Grecia. A classic ancient Roman dish...fantastic!
Naples, Italy - Amalfi coast was absolutely gorgeous. Pompeii was very interesting (but can be hot). We had a PHD in archeology as a private guide in Pompeii which was a definite benefit. He could read the graffiti on the walls! I did not expect to enjoy this port as much as I did.

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received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Spirit cruise review - Great Ports, Cruise Ship Experience... Not So Great

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Spirit cruise review - Great Ports, Cruise Ship Experience... Not So Great

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Spirit cruise review - Great Ports, Cruise Ship Experience... Not So Great

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Spirit cruise review - Great Ports, Cruise Ship Experience... Not So Great

shared a quick tip for Norwegian Spirit"Internet service is expensive and slow if it works at all."

added Jun 12, 2015 cruise on Norwegian Spirit to their profile.

reviewed their Europe - Mediterranean cruise on Norwegian Spirit and gave it 2 stars!