Don't cruise Europe- just go on your own

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 36

Overall rating:

3.2 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Spirit

11 Night Mediterranean & Greece (Rome Roundtrip)

Sail date: July 09, 2017

Ship: Norwegian Spirit

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 5011

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

As a veteran cruiser who has been on 8-10 cruises, it has changed for the worst over time. We would never cruise Europe again, and were not very impressed with NCL.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
Getting on the ship was fairly easy..no major complaints.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Drink package was great- lots of options, good choices, etc. Main dinning for dinner was good, once we found a decent waiter. Went every night for dinner, only had 1-2 bad meals. Buffet was awful. They don't have good choices for adults, mainly just pizza, pasta, and ice cream every day. I hoped for more options and not the same thing every single day. The hours of the buffet were also very inconvenient, especially when we were off the ship most of the day exploring and came back hungry. We did not go to any paid restaurants because we already paid for the cruise, and did not want to pay for a meal that was already included in our price. I will add that the coffee was TERRIBLE, and this really bothered us. The only decent coffee on the ship was at the cafe, but of course, you had to pay for that. They seriously need to look at changing that because we met a lot of people that felt the same.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
Thankfully we only had one sea day, and it was the worst day of our vacation. Not a lot to do for adults on the ship...everyone goes to the pool, so it's so crowded, it's not even worth it. We went to trivia a few times and it was pretty fun, but other than that, we didn't care for other activities. Fitness center is not very good, and the classes cost money (which used to be free years ago). Overall, not enough to do on this ship, very disappointed.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
We enjoyed going to the game shows in Galaxy and other smaller lounges. We tried going to a few shows and walked out on everyone we tried. Singers were ok, magician is horrible..I'm not sure why the cruise still hires this guy. We would have preferred a comedian.

Children's Programs

We don't have kids and did not use the program.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Almost everyone was excellent. We had a great house keeper, great bar tenders, great help at the service desk, but terrible waiters in the dinning room. We had to wait so long to bar drinks that we stopped ordering them, asked multiple times for water, etc. We finally switched areas and had a great waiter, Danny Pinto.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Design is old and dated, but ship was always clean.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Bed was comfortable, size was ok, set up was good. Fairly clean. However, our cabin shook and made noise every time we docked or left port, and it woke us up every time.

Ship tip

Very old ship, not a lot to do. We were thankful for mostly great port stops, but wouldn't ever cruise this ship again. Consider Royal Caribbean.

Ports of call

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

3 out of 5
Obviously, we enjoyed Rome very much. However, it is very inconvenient to get to from the city and very expensive. Taxi drivers took advantage of English speakers.

Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy

4 out of 5
It's unfortunate that we have to take a 1 1/2 train ride to get to Florence because it eats up so much time, but we loved Florence. We did do an excursion, but not through the ship. Not enough time to see everything in one day, which is why we would never cruise Italy again. It's better just to travel there without cruising.

Cagliari, Sardinia

1 out of 5
This should not be a stop. What a waste of a port. Went to Poetto beach, which was overcrowded and overpriced. Would never go back here and I almost prefer a sea day to this port.

Iraklion (Heraklion), Crete

3 out of 5
Good shopping, pretty nice town to explore on your own. Not worth money to do a tour, better just to explore on your own. Being here one day was enough.

Piraeus (Athens), Greece

5 out of 5
Excellent port. We did an excursion (not through NCL) and had a great time. It was a bit rushed, could have used an extra day to take our time.

Santorini, Greece

5 out of 5
Amazing port, very frustrating that we only have one day here. The cruise needs to extend this, it's worth the money. You can't see everything in the small amount of time provided.

Katakolon (Olympia), Greece

2 out of 5
Quaint, but nothing to do. Too small, and we didn't care to do an excursion here.

Valletta, Malta

4 out of 5
Beautiful place, good shopping and food. Beautiful views, we enjoyed it.

Messina, Sicily

1 out of 5
Did not do an excursion, but probably should have gone to Taormina. Messina has nothing to do there. Not good shopping or restaurants, and taxi drivers don't speak English, and take advantage of you.

Naples, Italy

5 out of 5
Amazing place, but not enough time to see everything. This should have been a 2-3 day port. Amalfi coast is amazing. We did a private tour and had a great experience. Just frustrated that we had to rush back to the ship once again.

Disembarkation

2 out of 5
Getting off the actual ship was fine, however, once we were off, it was near impossible to get back to the city center. We had talked with guest services way ahead of time about getting to our hotel, and they said there would be tons of taxis and it would be easy to get back. However, there were no legal or "white" taxis there. Only the taxi's that Rome tells you not to take. They speak little English and raise the price so high because nobody is there to take you home. We were off the ship fairly early, and were shocked to see nobody there for transportation. Terrible experience and feel NCL should do something about this.
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