Surprise of the Day on NCL
Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review to Europe - Western Europe
Review summaryThis was our second Norwegian cruise and will be our last on this line. 1) The ship was clean and well-appointed, but the food on the buffet was terrible and served in an unsanitary manner. As a result, the two main dining rooms were always packed and hard to get into. The second night, a staff member tried to shoo everyone away to the larger dining room (which was also packed). We were not dressed in the required code for the larger restaurant. Beepers were available, but not used. Complaining to Guest Services assured us of a reservation every night at 6:30, but other guests continued to experience the inconvenience. Guess they didn't know how to complain effectively? 2) There were not enough tenders to get everyone on shore in time for their excursions in Orkney. This resulted in angry passengers, especially since we were not informed ahead of time of the (2 hour) delay. Coming back from Orkney, I saw the reason for not enough tenders in the morning - NCL Spirit was using its own tenders by then, all of which were belching black smoke and making horrendous engine noises. They obviously were long overdue for maintenance. I prayed for safety as we were ferried back to the ship. Fortunately, this was the only port requiring tenders. 3) Policies and procedures were either not clearly stated, not followed, or both. I found out at some point that the dress code in the larger main dining room was not enforced, undoubtedly due to the fact that the smaller dining room couldn't service the demand. We also did not have our liquor confiscated after our distillery tour, even though the couple ahead of us did have their merchandise confiscated. I have no idea why, since we had as much liquor as they did. 4) "Anything to make a buck" seems to be the overwhelming business model of NCL. Drinks were way overpriced; Laundry cost was much more than it would cost to have the same items dry cleaned in the States; I couldn't get a refund for post cruise transfers to LHR I purchased prior to the cruise and didn't (because we changed our travel plans); excursions were pushed and little to no information was given about the port itself. However, the itinerary was great, as was the service. Great staff, hard-working and polite. My spouse purchased spa treatments and used the nail salon several times, and enjoyed those experiences thoroughly.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Read the fine print. Your excursion and transfer bookings cannot be refunded if you pay for them ahead of time. Also expect to be nickle and dimed at every opportunity. Drinks of the day, for example, were a bargain at $9, far more than I've ever paid on other cruise lines. Laundry charges were by the piece, eg, $12 to wash and dry a dress.
Ports of call
Southampton (London), England Did not visit port
Dartmouth, England Did not visit port