Could have been great

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 16

Overall rating:

3.8 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Spirit

7 Night Mediterranean Getaway (Rome Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 15, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Spirit

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 6517

Traveled as: Large Group

Reviewed: 9 months ago

Review summary

We've always preferred Norwegian as our favorite cruise line. But after this cruise I'm so sad to say that's no longer the case. What could have been an incredible experience with our entire family, they cancelled our final port, and they not only offered no compensation or help changing our plans, but they couldn't be bothered to offer their regrets. Instead they acted like we should be happy they docked in Civitavecchia rather than doing donuts in the water for a day.

Embarkation

4 out of 5

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Food was good, but the service in the dining room was incredibly slow. We'd literally go 20 minutes before we saw our server again, and dinner would take 2 hours. I know it's coursed, but it seemed exceptionally slow. One night we went later and got much faster service. So it just seemed to be an organizational issue at 5:30 dining.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
We mainly hung out in the lounges. It took so long at dinner we missed the shows every night.

Entertainment

Didn't attend any shows.

Children's Programs

4 out of 5
They had fun for the most part, but they said this time some of the kids were mean. I was also disappointed that they held the circus show inside the kids club rather than the stage or the atrium like we've seen them do it before. The kids were really looking forward to that and it was a little disappointing.

Service and Staff

1 out of 5
Customer service was absolutely terrible. The captain cancelled our final stop in Florence "for weather", and there wasn't an ounce of effort to try and make it right. They did not seem to care in the least, and they acted like cancelling ports was a very normal and regular thing they do. It definitely made me realize I'll never cruise Norwegian again. If it was for a legitimate reason I might have been disappointed but understanding. But it was interesting that they said we couldn't go to Florence due to expected bad weather in Rome. So instead we docked in Rome a day early with bad weather, then the next day when the bad weather was allegedly supposed to hit it was perfectly fine. We checked when they announced the cancellation and there was no bad weather predicted in Florence or Civitavecchia on the day they claimed it was coming. They did however seem to have a problem with the bow thrusters because they turned them on and off all night. I suspect they had technical issues with the ship, but they didn't want to admit that, so they blamed weather. We had plans in Florence to renew our wedding vows, and our whole family was on board. I was in the process of trying to cancel those plans when the ship left port in Naples, so I lost my cell service. I asked customer service if they could give me 30 minutes of WiFi on board to complete that, and they not only gave me the runaround sending me all over the ship to talk to different people, but when the Internet cafe manager finally set it up he still charged me. I went back down again to customer service to have it removed from my bill, and the customer service representative was rude and uncaring. He told me he couldn't give me complimentary WiFi, which to me is the least they could do when cancelling a major port on a Mediterranean cruise that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our family. He then disappeared for 15 minutes, and came back and said he could remove two $15 service charges from our bill. But realizing that would just take money from our room stewards and food service staff, I told him that was unacceptable. He acted like it was no big deal to take money from those workers, and when I told him that was unfair for those employees to pay for our WiFi access when they weren't the ones cancelling our port, he told me he could take the service charges off my bill but I could give them cash. So his solution to "comp" my WiFi was to take service fees away from staff and I could repay those charges in cash. When I finally suggested he just give us on-board credit for the WiFi, he couldn't come up with a reason why not. So I spent an hour of my life for $24 in on-board credit to make up for the fact that we did not get to go to one of the ports that was the entire reason for our trip. I've never in my life seen a company be so uncaring.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
It was fine. We usually love inside staterooms because they're so dark, so we sleep well. But they only gave us three towels each day and three blankets for a family of four.

Ship tip

Be wary booking cruises that have low rates. We've cruised with Norwegian half a dozen times, and we've always recommended it as our favorite cruise line. Never again. To cancel a major port on the cruise and not offer any sort of compensation is crazy to me. But to act like it's pulling teeth to give people onboard WiFi access so they can make other plans is even worse.

Ports of call

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

4 out of 5
We were pleasantly surprised with this port. We took a shuttle into the city and shopped around a bit. Then we took a bus into Tarquinia, and we saw some of the Etruscan pottery and relics. Lovely in December as the entire town lit up for Christmas at night.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

5 out of 5
We grabbed a taxi into the Old Town and walked around exploring the walled city.

Kotor, Montenegro

5 out of 5
Caught a cab at the dock and he took us to some great views. We probably needed another few hours in port, but a gorgeous stop.

Messina, Sicily

5 out of 5
Took a bus and a train to Taormina to the Greek theater. Probably should've just taken the bus straight there thought because we spent a lot of time traveling to our destination, so we didn't have much time to explore.

Naples, Italy

5 out of 5
Took a bus to the train station, and got off in Herculaneum. Much better preserved than Pompeii, and not too long of a day for us with kids.

Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy Did not visit port

Because the captain made the bizarre call to skip this port and dock us a day early in Civitavecchia. A major disappointment on a cruise we've been planning for about a year.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Very easy to pick our tags and get off the ship.
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