7 Night Bermuda (Boston Roundtrip) Sail Date: June 25, 2010 Ship: Norwegian Spirit Cabin Type: Oceanview Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 7 years ago
First off, this was my second cruise, though my first on NCL. I went with my girlfriend, we're in our mid-20's. NO kids. Overall I thought the ship was small (the smallest of NCL's fleet of 11), and places can get crammed quite quickly. However the staff does a quality job of keeping eating areas, public bathrooms, and staterooms impressively clean. "Freestyle Cruising" suited us well, especially with all the shows, music, and parties going on, it could prove challenging to fit in a meal (this is a good thing). Also, a warning. Prepare to feel like you're constantly watching a commercial. From jewelry to alcohol to the casino to cover-charging restaurants, NCL is trying to sell you everything. I went to a presentation on the new NCL Epic in the theatre, which turned out to be 5-7 minutes of a guy rifling through slides, and 15 minutes of advertising their Cruise Rewards, which is a down-payment on your next NCL cruise. We also went to the bar the first day to order 2 beers and the guy asked us three times to order 6 feers and we get 1 free. I get it buddy, but I don't want 6 beers. Lastly, people should be warned there was a 12$ per person per day charge that we learned about on the very last of the cruise. Add that to the automatic 15% gratuity and things can get expensive at the end so budget accordingly.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
Overall the quality of food was what I expected. The buffet was a regular buffet, serving hundreds of people per hour. The other two "free" sit-down restaurants were very good (Windows for breakfast, Garden Room for dinner). We paid a cover once to eat at the Shogun restaurant ($25 each), and were told at the door we could only have one of two menus, Sushi or Asian Fusion. We asked why we couldn't order from both, they said that's just not how it works. We shrugged it off and went with Sushi, which was well done.
5 out of 5
This is where the experience was made for us. I thought the featured shows in the Stardust Theatre were well done. Magicians, acrobatics, stand-up comedy, dance, etc. The shows also lasted only about 45minutes to an hour, so it was nice short relaxing break from whatever it is we were doing. Also make certain you go to all the "Game Shows", where they pick people out of the audience and help them do hilarious things. Lastly, make sure you attend the Murder Mystery dinner. The food during MM was the best to be had on the ship and the entertainment was great as well. The pool area outside is very small as well, but if you wake up early you can beat the rush
1 out of 5
We prefer a child-less experience and obviously realize that is too much to ask. However with the size of the ship, there are children everywhere. Or worse: teenagers travelling in packs of 8 or 10 who think it's so cool to order a coke at the bar. The bar is for grown-ups. The ship does feature a (I believe) 12-17 yr old exclusive room, but I saw it seldom used, and a pool area for smaller children. But the newer ships have 21+ only areas, and it was truly the only thing completely missing from the Spirit.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The ship's staff were overall excellent. Funny, engaging, friendly. The cruise director, Paul Scally, becomes an instant ship celebrity who made us laugh and cry and everything in between. Unfortunately, one cranky, unhelpful staff member can ruin it for the other hundreds who are working very hard to please us. We ventured into the casino to waste some money, but were offered little to no help in doing so. We asked how to work their slots and the woman at the desk simply gave us a "Casinos at Sea" card with no explination as to what it did/was. We put it into the slots, nothing happened. So we went to the cash window to ask and when they made us feel like we were "newbies" and bothering them, we just left. Bad business as the casino is their #1 revenue source. Also, I agree with others who have said the staff seems overworked. By the 6th day they seemed tired and short. But working 10 hours a day for 7 straight days I guess I would too.
3 out of 5
The ship's size is very small in comparison, and the layout can be quirky (for example, to access a restaurant on the same floor as our cabin, we had to walk up one floor around the ship, then back down). Public areas are clean; in the restaurants the staff hover like vultures waiting for patrons to finish their food so they can snatch up the dirty plates. We loved the decor. As the boat once sailed under Star Cruises in Asia, it features many inspired statues and paintings.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Our room was kept clean overall. I thought it was kind of cramped. However they cleaned our room twice a day, which was great because a mid-day nap was often necessary.
Our time on the island was fantastic. The book by Lonely Planet was our guide. Day one: Maritime Museum, then Sunken Ship/Coral Reef Excursion. Day two: Ferry to St George. Many historic places. Then bus to the Swizzle Inn/Crystal Caves. Both very awesome. Then bus to Hamilton and Ferry back to Dockyard. Day three: bus to Horseshoe Bay. Amazing beach. Bus back.
I highly recommend this basic itinerary to those who want to "go it alone".
Don't Miss: St. George, if you like historic buildings and sites.
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