7 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip) Sail Date: March 16, 2008 Ship: Norwegian Spirit Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Family (young children) Reviewed: 10 years ago
This was my first cruise. I have always avoided them and opted for villa and condo rentals after flying to a vacation spot. This trip we decided to take our kindergarten daughter and a cruise seemed right. I loved not having to cook, do laundry, shop, etc. I didn't love the crowds. I thought the staff was very friendly. Every now and then there was a language barrier. It wasn't that we couldn't communicate, but the nuances were lost. It didn't bother me at all, and at times it was endearing. My only advice is to avoid doing too much in Roatan. One of the passengers on the boat died when her zip line broke. She had two small children and her husband on the cruise with her. Also, several people didn't make it back on the boat from the Roatan stop. I don't know what happened to them
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
The buffet was fine for breakfast, but it wasn't great for other meals. The main dining room at night was fine if you liked the menu. There was never a wait and our ship was completely full. I loved the freestyle dining. We ate at Cagney's, the Italian restaurant, Shogun and Le Bistro. All of the specialty restaurants, except the Italian restaurant, were above average. The Italian restaurant was just average.
3 out of 5
We had mostly good weather so we spent most of the daytime outside. We had plenty to do at night. I am afraid that if we had been stuck indoors that we would have gotten bored.
5 out of 5
My kindergarten daughter loved the program. She got upset with us if we picked her up before closing. The were open from 9-12, 2-5 and 7-10>
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Everyone was very friendly. The only problem was that I think most of the staff went to a training school about how to respond to questions. Their responses were all the same. If you had a question that was unique they seemed a bit lost.
3 out of 5
This is our first cruise so I don't have a point of reference. We had plenty to do for a week. I read that some people complained that the ship was starting to look a bit worn. I had to keep in mind that a cruise ship is open 24/7. Overall it wasn't any different than a hotel.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Small, but the space was efficiently used. We had a room with a balcony and I can't imagine cruising without it.
This was a rainy and cool day. We went on the beach break to Bannister Island. The shelling was great. It was too cold to get in the water. The passengers on our boat were allowed to cancel the excursion b/c of the weather. If it had been sunny, I would think that the island would have been very crowded. The staff on the island was great.
We went to the Amatique Bay Resort. We were pleasantly surprised. The resort had a beach, big pool and, best of all, waterslides. My daughter went down those slides the entire day. The food wasn't great, but we had a great time.
Don't Miss: Amatique Bay Resort
We often vacation in Playa del Carmen and I have been to Cozumel before. My daughter was excited to see Mexico so we got off the boat. We went to Chalkanaab. It was great. My advice is to go early. We slept late that day and got there around 11. The lines were long to get into the park. Once we got inside we were happy. The snorkeling was above average and the water was beautiful. I had been to Chalkanaab 14 years ago and the park has definitely been upgraded.
Don't Miss: Chalkanaab
We didn't get off the boat b/c we didn't get to port until 3. Most of the comments we heard weren't good. As I said earlier, one of our passengers, a mother of 2, was killed while zip-lining in Roatan. We also heard 2 people were hurt on the reef.
Pros: The kids camp made my daughter happy and as a result my wife and I happy
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