Freestyle cruising isn't so free

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Deck Hand
Experience: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 3

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
8 Night Eastern Caribbean (New York Roundtrip)
Sail Date: July 26, 2008
Ship: Norwegian Spirit
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 9 years ago
This ship was average. Nothing really bad about it, but nothing outstanding

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The food was average to good in the dining rooms, but excellent in the specialty restaurants, all of which required extra per person charges and all of which required reservations. In the regular dining rooms, if you wanted to eat between 6 and 8, there was always a line. That is because of the freestyle plan. We started eating either at 5:30 when the dining room opened, or after 8 in order to avoid standing in long lines. So with "freestyle" we still ended up having to adhere to an "early" or "late" seating schedule of our own in order to avoid lines. Also, for a large group, like a family group, you still had to make reservations to get a table together. Freestyle was easier to negotiate for a couple than for a group, I think. Also, because there were two evening shows at the usual time: 8 and 10 or 7:30 and 9:30, and people could choose when to eat, there were two nights when the late show was standing room only. We missed the best show due to no seats!


3 out of 5

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
The kids LOVED it. Good service, great crew.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Don't expect that special service in the dining rooms anymore. The waiters in the dining room no longer serve the same people every day, so there is no relationship and there was a distinct difference in the service friendliness in the dining rooms compared to other cruises where you have the same waiter every night.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
3 out of 5
The poverty here is striking and although some do cruise to see more of the world as it really is, the Discover Semana tour was a sad experience. We wished that for the enjoyment we had gone to spend the day at the all-inclusive resort, which was one of the tours offered. Hard to "vacation" amid such sadness.
5 out of 5
Not enough time to really enjoy this charming place.

Pros: being on the ocean, cruising always gives you a beautiful look at nature, visiting new ports

Cons: "freestyle" cruising, extra charges for so many things

Recommends Norwegian Spirit? No.

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