12 Night Grand Mediterranean (Venice To Barcelona) Sail Date: October 25, 2012 Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 4 years ago
Embarking, disembarking: very easy; highly efficient processes
Shore excursions: good - very good
Lines: almost non-existent; excellent streamlined systems
Free Food: good to very good
Room service: could be slow
Free-style dining: FANTASTIC
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
On the 12th deck\, aft\, Raffles is the buffet open 24 hours a day. Its full of elbow-to-elbow hordes filling their plates\, taking them back to tables\, stuffing it down\, then returning to the trough to fill up again. While the food is plentiful and pretty good\, the table seating is cheap cafeteria and the clientele recalls what you would find at an inexpensive all-you-can-eat smorgasbord. It matters not the time: breakfast\, lunch\, dinner or late evening its a feeding frenzy complete with screaming kids\, pushy and rude clientele\, long lines ugh nothing pretty about it.
By way of contrast\, a review on this site recommended the free restaurant Windows on the 6th deck. After several meals at the feeding trough they call Raffles\, we had dinner at sea on day 2 at Windows and found it delightful. The service\, selection and atmosphere were all excellent\, on a par of a 4 (of 5) star restaurant. We both loved it.
3 out of 5
The Shows: We are not much for stage shows on cruise ships and the singing and dancing and acrobatic shows on NCL Spirit did not alter our perception every one of them including the acrobatic show was overly choreographed\, and much of it proved to be standard-cruise-ship poorly executed tripe. We never stayed more than 10 minutes at any particular show other than Juggler/Comedian Steve Rawlings who was funny\, polished\, witty\, and great fun for all. His show was as good as any professional comedian you would see on network television or Comedy Central. He had the audience laughing and clapping constantly\, quite a contrast to the other shows where people were yawning and departing with regularity.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Impossible to be friendlier. Great staff from restaurants to housekeeping to everything.
3 out of 5
All 4 hot tubs were COLD at 97-98F. Normal in the US is 101-102. It makes a difference.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We got a balcony. A great investment. Worth every penny.
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