Overall, we made the best of our vacation but it was not the cruise for us. We were surprised to find everything on the ship in English with the majority of guests being from the U.K., then America, then Asia. But with a long overseas trip, almost everyone was over the age of 65. The service was poor, the food was poor, the cruise director Dave was terrible, and the activity schedule was poorly planned.
1 out of 5
This was the worst cruise we have been on across several cruise lines including Norwegian, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
The food choices were limited. All of the food looked and tasted like it was frozen meals heated up in a microwave or oven. Many of the options were under cooked or overcooked. For example, I was excited to eat cheese tortellini until I found that it was hard and crunchy having sat under a heating lamp for who knows how long. The quality and consistency of the food was really bad. We ordered meatball soup and counted out two meatballs. We ordered shrimp pasta and counted out three shrimp. It seemed like no matter what we ordered, it was missing the main ingredient.
Blue Lagoon Cafe
4 out of 5
If you have to eat aboard the Norwegian Spirit, I'd suggest eating at the Blue Lagoon. Food is made fresh to order so it is hot and edible. Many menu options still seem like they are out of a frozen box (mozzarella sticks, french fries, etc.) but the staff is quick and friendly. What I hated about this venue is that you are not allowed to leave with food. So if it's 11pm and you want a late night snack on your way back to your cabin, you have to sit there and eat it.
2 out of 5
The pool was closed all but two days of our ten day trip. Our cruise director, Dave, was the worst cruise director we've ever had. He was extremely impersonal, terrible at hosting events, and I even saw him fighting with other guests! His schedule for activities was horrible. For example, there would be a dance party planned in Galaxy and the floor would be packed with people having a great time! Then all of the sudden, the party was over with an abrupt end time. Leaving many people standing around angry. The saving grace to the onboard activities were cruise staff members Guido, Tiago, Roberto, and Yoshua. They had a great positive attitude and energy.
3 out of 5
The stage shows where the cast sings and dances were your very average stage shows. Nothing special there. I rated Entertainment based on the unique magic show, married couple acrobatic show, and hypnotist show. These were actually mesmerizing and some nights we would attend both shows just to try and figure out how they do it! DJ Cee Jay was horrible. He would get a party going then sure enough kill it. It was also really awkward how they would have him DJing a party in Galaxy, then abruptly end that party to try and send everyone to the night club behind the casino. But of course when you arrived at the night club, all of the lights were on and no music was playing because DJ Cee Jay was still upstairs packing up his equipment. Terrible planning. We also had canceled activities such as Deal or No Deal. Despite a large group of people angry and trying to buy game cards, they canceled the game show because they did not sell enough game cards. WHAT?!
Service and Staff
1 out of 5
Service on the Norwegian Spirit was the worst we've received. Servers at Windows and Garden main dining rooms were cold, not personable, and SLOW. They were not attentive. Waiting 25 minutes with an empty glass of water in unacceptable! One night we arrived for dinner at 9pm (seating goes until 9:30). Our server spent the entire duration of our dining experience cleaning up other tables and setting up for the next day. Because of this, our service was SO SLOW that we were not even offered dessert!
4 out of 5
Cabin / Stateroom
1 out of 5
Our cabin looked like it had seen better days. Corners were dirty from years of filth. All night long the drawers and closet door would open and SLAM shut with the rocking waves of the ship. It kept us up most nights and by the end of the cruise when we were packing up, I shuttered at the sound of the drawers. We had the opposite problem with the bathroom. The shower door would not open and we had to pick up the entire door and use our whole body strength to try and slide it open. Also in our bathroom, the vent above our toilet just FELL OUT of the ceiling. When we reported this problem, a man came and just stuck it back in. No repairs, no cleaning up of the dust and debris left scattered all over our bathroom. That was really unacceptable. But maybe worst of all, we did not receive a towel animal in our room THREE days of our trip.
Our excursion was TERRIBLE. We spent $75 per person for our excursion. We spend several hours on a bus driving around the same few blocks within the cruise port. We also got LEFT BEHIND on our excursion. While visiting a museum (which by the was cost only $4 for entrance) our tour guide said to meet at the entrance at 1:15pm. We were at the door at 1:15pm but our group was long gone!!!! We stopped at a botanical gardens that was boring. We stopped at a really amazing view point and had FIVE MINUTES THERE. Ugh. We also stopped at a restaurant and got a plate of cheese and a bowl of potatoes to share with the table. Ever stop we stayed at for only a few minutes and spent the majority of the time on the bus.
We were told the night before that our Mt. Teide excursion was canceled leaving us scrambling!!! Instead, we ventured out on our own. You can easily walk from the cruise port along the sea front. There is a nice walking path with exercise equipment along the way. You can walk into town, up the side walks to some great views.
Our $100 per person excursion at Funchal was lovely. We took the cable car ($11 without tour) up to the top of a mountain. It was more like a closed in gondola. But don't expect a romantic ride, they make you cram in with six people so it was pretty awkward. From the top of the mountain we enjoyed the views and walked to the wicker sled ride ($40 without tour). This was pretty excited. It was not on a track. Instead, two men just push and pull your sled down the same winding street cars use. At the bottom of the ride they try to pan handle you for tips, to buy a photo, and for souvenirs. Our bus then took us on an amazing scenic drive to the top of another mountain with a gift shop at the top. The views were incredible.
On this day we did the Gibraltar tour. Which I would HIGHLY recommend. Gibraltar is gorgeous and full of culture. I was worried about the two hour drive but it was beautiful driving along the coast watching the sun rise! Once we arrived, we had free time. This was the worst part of our trip since everything in Gibraltar is closed on a Sunday. We then went to the souther tip and were able to look out across the ocean at Africa!!! After that was went to the top of Gibraltar and explored inside of a cave. It was all lit up different colors and really cool. Then we visited the free roaming MONKEYS!!!
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