Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
2-3 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
3

1 out of 5

Very disappointed with the Norwegian Spirit cruise

Sail Date: January 16, 2016

Reviewed: 10 months ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Inside

I was very disappointed with the NCL Spirit 7 day cruise from Orlando. 

 

Food:  The food in the main dining room and buffet was not good at all - it was ALWAYS cold, there were limited options on the buffet, and my youngest son got food poisoning from the main dining room.  The food in the Blue Lagoon (bar and grill type of munchies) was great but not what you would want to eat everyday for dinner (chix wings, tenders, burger, apps).  We did not try the extra cost restaurants at all - probably would have if they still were flat fee but they have now gone to a la carte and based on the pricing it didn't seem worth it.  

 

Service:  The service was spotty at best - the people were very nice when they bothered to come over but to give you an example....I sat at a table about 25 feet from one of the pool bars and in 6 hours only once did a server come to my table to ask if I wanted anything.  It was like this all over the ship...every bar, dinner, etc. 

 

Rooms:  The room was ok.  We booked an inside because we really had no intention of spending much time in it (though we did due to food poisoning and also boredom, see comments below regarding activities and fun).  The room had two twins (could be turned into a full), one bunk, and one trundle bed.  Wasn't fond of the trundle, would have preferred two bunks in a room that sleeps 4, but not a deal killer.  The service to the room was also Ok...the room was cleaned daily and on a couple of days there was a cute little towel animal left on our bed - but it was nothing compared to the service we received on Carnival cruise where every time we left the room they somehow knew and went in an straightened, took away garbage, and left us presents every night (turned down bed, left some chocolate or cookies, always had some cute little towel animal waiting for the kids).  Again, not deal killer, but when you combine with all the other things definitely disappointing.

 

Fun/Activities:  Back to the pool bars - they closed them both by 7pm each night (they reopened at 10:30 one night for the white hot party and maybe late another night...but what exactly is the point of that???) and other then the "sail away" parties that they had leaving port they had very few activities by the pool (there were some BBQs...the food there was better....at least it was hot!) - definitely not the type of outdoor relaxing fun we experienced when we went on carnival cruise about a year ago.  Most everything was held indoors and even those options were very limited in my opinion (unless you are talking about stuff that they could charge extra fees for....bingo, picture nights, etc....there were plenty of that stuff).  Again, just very disappointing as compared with what we experienced on Carnival where there was so much to do we often couldn't decide which activity to go to. 

 

I will throw in some qualifiers - this cruise was in mid-January whereas our previous cruise was the last week of October....I am not sure how much that factors in.  Also, this was a smaller ship compared to the Carnival cruise we were on (about 2K passengers as compared to almost 3K) so that might have made a difference.  Finally, the average age on this cruise was probably mid 60s....if you are a retired couple looking for things like card games to spend your time you would probably enjoy it more (the game room was always packed with folks playing cards) but I still wouldn't recommend due to the food and service issues....

     

Cabin / Stateroom
It was fine. Would have preferred 2 bunks instead of 1 bunk and trundle for a family of 4 but not that big of a deal....
Embarkation and Disembarkation
They did do a great job getting everyone on and off. Probably the one thing I would say was better then Carnival....lines went faster and was both embarkation and disembarkation process was easier....
Ship Quality
The ship set up was fine. Easy to find your way around, public areas were kept clean, etc
Destinations and Excursions
I liked the itinerary....that is why we chose this cruise. We did not do any excursions through NCL...we chose to go off on our own (and had a great time at all stops!!)
Onboard Activities
Not enough (unless you are talking about ones that cost $$), very little outside by pool.
Children's Programs
Teen program was good...
Entertainment
Shows were ok...basically what you would expect on a cruise
Service and Staff
This one is harder....the people were always nice but there either weren't enough of them or they weren't fast enough...
Food and Dining
Not good at all!
Port Canaveral, Florida
We did the Kennedy Space Center after getting off the ship....it was amazing!! Wish we would have had more time to spend there and highly recommend it!!
Nassau, Bahamas
We just walked around and played tourists and shopped. It was a nice lazy kind of day which we enjoyed.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Loved the Island. For our excursion (non NCL) we did snorkeling with the sea turtles with Captain Mike of Fury boat tours. Was amazing and would highly recommend.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Again, beautiful destination. We went to Mahu beach and watched the planes land. It was completely overcrowded and no drink service (Sunset bar was packed so we didn't hang out there) BUT it was still one of the coolest things to see, the water was fun to just hang out in, and we enjoyed the day there. If you have kids maybe ages 6-20 I would definitely recommend...they loved it. If no kids or younger, maybe a quick stop there just to see it and then off to one of the other beaches that aren't as crowded....


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