This cruise was the very first cruise that both my husband and I, both in our 50s, have taken, and while it wasn’t perfect, it certainly met our expectations.
We arranged to use NCL’s shuttle service from Orlando airport and we were on the bus by 12:00 PM and en route to the port. We arrived by 1:00 PM and that is when everything came to a halt. We stood in line for security and check-in until after 3:00 PM. By the time we stepped foot on the ship, we immediately had to report to our muster station for the emergency drill. This put a little bit of a damper on our first day, but we were finally on the ship!
The Spirit is the smallest in NCL’s lineup and it was rather beautiful. None of the public spaces ever felt too crowded, which was surprising as we were sailing over a holiday week, so it was a sold out ship. We both found the ship to be extremely clean and well maintained. There were occasions where a washroom was out of order, but none of them lasted the entire cruise, so maintenance kept up on the repairs. There were numerous spills in the buffet, as we had rough seas for our last two days, which happened to be sea days, and they were cleaned up almost immediately.
Our cabin steward was wonderful. He always had a smile and a pleasant tone when we spoke to him. Our room was kept clean, towels were refreshed as needed, and he left us a towel animal for 6 of the nights, which were appreciated since this was a first cruise for us.
We found the buffet to be okay. My husband enjoyed their burgers while I enjoyed the daily stir-fry. Of course the buffet is where I went for breakfast as I usually woke up hours before my husband. We enjoyed the dinners we had at Windows for the most part, though the one time my husband had the lasagna, the cheese was hard. Our dinner at Le Bistro was okay, though my husband ordered the upcharge of lobster tail, which he said was overdone as it was chewy. We also had dinner at Cagney’s and while good, I wasn’t blown away by it. I asked for a cup of coffee with my dessert, but I never received it. By the time I was done with the dessert, I knew the coffee wasn’t coming, so just didn’t bother asking for it again.
The biggest disappointment we had on the ship was from Blue Lagoon. Not so much with the food, but with the service. It was certainly the only place on the ship where we found service to be lacking. My husband was forgotten there twice. His order was taken and after a half hour he was asked for his order again. The customer service we received from the everyone else on the ship was outstanding.
Since we were using NCL’s shuttle service back to Orlando Airport, we were given the “green” disembarkment category, which was estimated to occur at 9:45 AM. We were told to stay in the public areas for the announcements on the TV screens, but we were sitting outside at Raffle’s bar and they never once had announcements on those TV’s. We started heading down to deck 7 at around 9:30 and discovered that our category had already been called. We were through customs pretty quickly and were on the bus in no time.