Great itinerary with adequate ship

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review to Europe - Western Europe

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 28

Overall rating:

4.1 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Spirit

12 Night British Isles Heritage (London Roundtrip)

Sail date: September 15, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Spirit

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 10001

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Overall cruise was a good value though the ship was older and less to do on other larger and newer ships. Definitely recommend looking at private or alternative tour options as the cruise ship clientele on this itinerary was a bit older and slower and bussing just takes up a long time with short port times. Felt like time in ports was more limiting then it needed to be, particularly since the ports themselves were all very close together. Would have liked to have more time (as in 12 hours versus the 4-5 or 6-8 we had in some ports), the Dublin overnight was convenient.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Easy onboarding with suite service though other passengers without complained of long delays to board

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Food options were comparable to other NCL ships with enhanced dining options of Cagneys, Bistro, La Trattoria, all of which were adequate but not as good as other ships it seemed. One shining star was the main semiformal dining room that had a somewhat varying menu. We found that to be preferable over the signature experiences. Beyond that, many of the sides and desserts were flat.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
NCL Spirit is a small ship and the clientele was decidedly and older crowd. Beyond the smoke filled casino, things shut down largely after 930. Weather did not allow for pools or other outdoor activities, and beyond the spa, there weren't a lot of on board things to do that suited our fancy.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
Again, NCL Spirit tried hard here but the shows themselves were no where near the caliber of the larger ship shows. The single theatre was very dated in its appearance and seating.

Children's Programs

Did not bring children and did not see many on the ship.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The staff was very friendly and tried extra hard to be pleasing and attentive to many details. This was the strong point of this ship, the staff really did try to go the extra mile whenever and wherever they could.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Ship was clean but the age of the ship really shows. It is due for a dry dock upgrade soon, hopefully that will give it a more modern feel and not a stuck in the 1990's Bruce Lee movie feel.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
We had generally gone with aft suites in the past, opting this time for a forward facing suite. We found the layout to be okay, though we missed the second bathroom that we got with the aft suites. The balcony was unusable while the ship was sailing due to strong headwinds and the fact that it was tiny. It was almost laughable as the chairs were roped to keep them together and the pads were always wet from the bridge wipers right above. In addition, due to its location below the bridge we had to keep the window curtains drawn during evening and night. In all, it was like having a really big inside cabin. We would opt for the side facing suites or an aft suite if we had to do this all over again.

Ship tip

Check out the filet at the Italian restaurant, it was the best item on the menu and beat the steakhouse for flavor.

Ports of call

Southampton (London), England

5 out of 5
Easy embarkation and disembarkation and delightful town, we spent the day and night prior to the cruise here and were glad we did.

Invergordon (Inverness & Loch Ness), Scotland

4 out of 5
Not a lot to see here, so choose the quality of the tour - though ours covered a lot of ground there wasn't much information to make it useful to us. Gift shop at port was actually very good (and missing from the next few ports).

NEWHAVEN HARBOUR (EDINBURGH), SCOTLAND

5 out of 5
Don't miss the Edinburgh castle. Choose the tour wisely, we tried to see too many sights and ended up not seeing any of them long enough (so much so that we returned here on a later port to catch up on the castle)

Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland Did not visit port

Tenders were a disaster with 2 hour+ wait time. Highly disorganized and therefore without a planned tour we could not disembark.

Greenock (Glasgow), Scotland

5 out of 5
Had a delightful time here, though we spent some of the time driving back to the Sterling castle that we missed time on the other port. Heard from others that we should have done the cliffs instead.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

5 out of 5
Got great insight into the political feud between the loyalists and the nationalists, did a private tour that let us really drill into some of the off beaten tracks and then able to visit things like the Sein Fein museum and other sights that the tour busses cant go.

Liverpool, England

5 out of 5
Beyond Beatles mania we found the city to be friendly and enjoyed the food. Not to be missed is the British Music Museum right by the port, you could spend 1/2 day but could also see it in about 90 minutes. We did it as a last minute item and it was the highlight of the port.

Dublin, Ireland

5 out of 5
Delightful city with so many things to do. Took a walking tour with food and whiskey on day 1 then a ghost bus tour at night, weather was uncooperative but still had a really good time. On day 2 took a tourbus to the country side and enjoyed the many rolling hills and picturesque views with a nice lunch overlooking one of the many gold courses here.

Cobh (Cork), Ireland

4 out of 5
Had a little snafu with our tour at this port but luckily found a nice chap that ran a tour and taxi service that took us around personally to all the main sights including Blarney Castle.

Dartmouth, England Did not visit port

Poor weather prevented tendering so this day was cancelled and replaced with a sea day.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Again, easy off with NCL choose your time -- as suite guests that were not flying out that same day we didn't leave until 0900 after most other passengers had left, so walked off easily and found our bags waiting for us.
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