August 2015 - 12 Night Grand Mediterranean (Barcelona To Venice) Cruise on Norwegian Spirit
Overall this is a good cruise if you would like an overview of some Mediterranean ports. My husband and I took our two teenagers (age 14 & 17) on this trip. While we have cruised on a number of different lines, Norwegian falls some where in the middle (Radisson - now Regent, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity and Carnival). While we thought we would like the freestyle dining format, we all decided that we would rather have the more formal traditional dining at set times which was a big surprise to us since we tend to be very laid back and no one likes to "dress for dinner - especially the teens." We also felt that the food was not as good as other lines. The food was OK but not great. The staff on this cruise was great. They enjoyed their jobs and really made it a great experience during all activities. The shows were a mixed bag. Some were exceptional. Others were just OK. The teen club was amazing. This is the first cruise that my 14 year old actually wanted to do the activities instead of just meeting up with friends and running around the ship. There was a group of 30 kids that hung out each night and another 30+ kids that also participated in the teen club. This is the first cruise that we did not take a shore excursion through the ship. I had always been nervous about "making it back in time" by going with an outside vendor. With careful research, I booked many private tours (just the 4 of us) that were the same price or less than the cruise line. I don't think I will ever book another excursion through the ship again. I highly recommend the Rick Steeves Mediterranean Cruises book and read it cover to cover. All of the private tours that he recommended were the best tours we every had. The Norwegian Spirit is a little rough around the edges since it is the oldest ship in their fleet. I imagine it will be retired very soon. However, you probably wouldn't even notice unless you've been on newer ships recently. Overall, I would take Norwegian again if the price and itinerary matched our needs but I would choose Royal Caribbean instead.