Joined: 03/29/2016
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bpmapes's Past Cruises

Norwegian Spirit

May 2016 - 12 Night Grand Mediterranean (Venice To Barcelona) Cruise on Norwegian Spirit

What a Great Cruise!


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I have to admit, I had some trepidations about the cruise after reading some mixed reviews and hearing of plumbing issues, sewage smell problems, and poor service from staff.  Our experience included none of those issues.  It was a very pleasant and smooth cruise.  I found the boat and the crew to be very good.  Everything ran smoothly and all of the crew was anxious to please.  It is only our second cruise (both with Norwegian), so I don't have a lot to compare it to, but I spoke with a number of more experienced cruisers on the ship and they all felt the same about our cruise. 


While the Spirit is the smallest and oldest ship in the fleet, it has a charm and sophistication that we enjoyed.  Our first cruise was on the Dawn 10 years ago, so it's hard to recall everything from that cruise, but I definitely enjoyed this ship and cruise more than our first. 


The Spirit is a well laid-out ship, with nice deck and pool area (which never felt overcrowded, even on sea days).  The restaurants were all very good (even the free ones - The Garden was our favorite).  The Windows restaurant was also very nice, especially the view through the windows at the back of the boat.


The ports of call were amazing (except Toulon, which we sort of skipped, other than a brief walk through the main marketplace area).  Getting on and off the ship was very well organized and was generally a quick process (the nice part about a smaller boat).


In summary, we loved our cruise, and would definitely do it again. It was a relaxing and enjoyable experience. 


Thanks Norweigan!!


One final note:  Dave, the Cruise Director, did an outstanding job in my opinion.  I don't know when he slept, because he was always up and about keeping things going.  He records his daily TV sessions at 4:00 AM.  Crazy man!!

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bpmapes's Tips

Naples, Italy - We did a private excursion to Pompeii ruins and Amalfi coast through Shore Excursions Group. It was wonderful.
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy - You can get to Rome by train and it is cheaper than the excursions. You can find other skip the line tours to see the main attractions once you get there,
Barcelona, Spain - Loved Barcelona!! We stayed an extra day afterward to see the sites and we probably could have used another day. A really nice city.
Mykonos, Greece - We rented a car and drove to Elia Beach on the other side of the Island. We also walked through the town.
Toulon, France - Stay on the ship and relax, unless you want to do an excursion somewhere other than Toulon.
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy - We did a private excursion to Pisa and Florence through Shore Excursions Group. It was wonderful. I highly recommend them as an alternative to the ship excursions, which are more money and larger groups.
Piraeus (Athens), Greece - We just did the hop-on-hop-off bus to get from port to the area where most of the attractions are (near the Acropolis). The new Acropolis Museum was interesting as well.
Venice, Italy - Go in a day earlier than the cruise departs, as you have to be on the boat by early evening of the departure day, which doesn't leave a lot of time. We stayed at Hotel Paganeli, right near St. Marks square and the water bus stop, which was convenient to get from the airport and to the cruise terminal.
Dubrovnik, Croatia - Walk the wall of this old town and learn of its history. Very enjoyable. The cable car up to the top of Mount Srn was also a nice view of the town and surroundings.
Kotor, Montenegro - One of our favorite ports. Definitely hike up the 1350 stairs to the Castle of San Giovani, at the top of the hill in back of the town. It is breathtaking and there is a phot opportunity around every turn.

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