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Age: 35

Occupation:Occupational Therapist

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Spirit

Sailing Date: April 2nd, 2006

Itinerary: Bahamas

Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review

Jana Greer

This cruise was the first for both my husband and me. We didn’t have high expectations regarding the food so we were not disappointed. We ate at the buffet (Raffles) about once a day and the food was okay but pretty much the same dishes each day. The most unpleasant thing about Raffles is having to jockey for position in front of the drink machines and waiting in the food lines. Finding an empty table is also difficult unless you eat during off-peak hours. Windows and The Garden restaurants (no extra charge) were a cut above eating at Raffles. For dinner, we often ate at the one of the specialty restaurants. The cover charge for these is about $20/each but the food is better still. Our favorite was Le Bistro. On the whole, the food on the ship is fine.

The most disappointing thing about the cruise for us was some of our shore excursions. We did the “NASA Up-Close” tour in Port Canaveral, Florida. It was $110 for each of us. We didn’t really get “up close” to anything. We traveled around Port Canaveral in a bus and saw the space shuttle launch area from 3 miles away. We also drove by the space shuttle assembly building and saw the crawler-transporter. We also saw the old rocket launching pads from a viewing area nearby. That’s pretty much it. By the time this was over, there was barely enough time to grab lunch back at Kennedy Space Center and catch a last-minute IMAX movie. We were not able to see much of Kennedy Space Center at all. I recommend skipping NASA up-close and enjoying the Space Center instead. There doesn’t seem to be much added value by the Up-Close tour.

In Miami we chose the Grand Tour of Miami, Vizcaya, and the Everglades. It was $99/each. This was a long bus ride broken up by a fan-boat ride in the Everglades, a tour of a mansion, and lunch at a Cuban restaurant (enjoy the traffic jam getting to Little Havana!). The fan-boat ride was pretty fun but it only lasted a half-hour. We saw a few alligators and some birds. We wish we would have skipped this excursion and explored Miami on our own.

We went snorkeling in Great Stirrup Cay. This only cost $29/each and it was our favorite excursion. We recommend you go to the private island on the first tender so you can stake out a hammock or beach chair because by noon the place was jam-packed with people. The weather was beautiful and we were able to snorkel and read all day. We saw many colorful fish out by the reef.

In Nassau, we did the Pearl Island Treasure Hunt. This cost $82/each. The Island felt like a piece of paradise and the weather was beautiful. Unfortunately, the treasure hunt part of the excursion was lame. Before we arrived at the island, the employees there placed several oysters (with rubber-bands around them) and conch shells around coral rock formations in a marked-off area of water. The conch shells were all in very obvious places. The first people in the water got everything. One guy got 5 large conch shells before some people were even in the water. Two rubber-band-marked oysters were also found within the first 10 minutes. My husband and I found none of these items, as we were some of the last people in the water, but we did enjoy the many fish in the area. The employees feed the fish daily to keep them in that area for the tourists. For the most part, we enjoyed our time in Nassau on Pearl Island. It is unfortunate that the ship only stays at that port for half a day.

On the whole, we had a pleasant experience on the NCL-Spirit.

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