Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Spirit
Sailing Date: September 16th, 2006
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review
Our former cruises had been on the Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend, NCL Dawn and this cruise on the Spirit. My husband and I were severely disappointed with the ship itself. We both felt this was because of the age of the ship (1998). All our other cruises had been on brand new or close to brand new ships. We were in cabin 9606 portside, mid-ship. Excellent location, near the elevators. The bed had me in severe back pain by the 2nd day. The bathroom was tight to say the least. If you have long legs you cannot sit squarely on the toilet. Your knees will be hitting the wall. The shower stall was small but you could amply move around in it. Our balcony was extremely small. They simply had two lawn chairs and a tiny table. We had a mini-suite on the Dawn so it would be tough to compare balcony sizes on the Norwegian line.
The crew members were absolutely fantastic. I can't say enough about how gracious they all were. We saw two shows that were great. A husband and wife singing team, Patti & Jose, entertained everyday in the Galaxy of the Stars. They were great, great, great! They sang a little bit of everything. They talked with guests in between sets.
The food was fine. Neither one of us had any complaints about
the quantity or quality of the food. The coffee was awful. I brew the same
coffee in our cabin and it's great. You go upstairs to the buffet and it is
absolutely awful. The unfortunate part of this cruise was the drink prices. A
friend of ours had been on the Dawn in March and said they raised the prices. We
thought maybe the prices would drop in September. We were WRONG. A soda card for
the week for an adult was $48 plus gratuity. A bucket (6 beers) of domestic beer
was $19.75 plus gratuity, imports $22.75 plus gratuity. The bottles of wines
started at $24 and I believe there were only 2 wins that were $24. One employee
told me they took the cheap wines off the ship and now keep only the $36 plus
bottles on board. The employees are given a quota on drink orders so all they do
is pester the hell out of you asking if you want a drink. Then when you're
sitting there with a bucket of beer and you've only had 2 of them, they're
pestering you to refill the bucket.
We chose the Spirit for the itinerary (St. Thomas, Tortolla and Bermuda) and the fact that we were able to book at a group rate with our local radio station. Would I cruise this ship again - no.
The specialty restaurants we did not eat in but I looked at the menu at Cagney's and at Shogun. Cagney's was $20 per person, $25 if you wanted a lobster (1 1/2 lbs). Seems a bit expensive to me. I got a flier for the sushi side of Shogun which was hugely disappointing. They wanted from $8 up based on the sushi they made or ala carte at like $2 each. No soup, no dessert. On the Dawn last year I paid $10, it was all you could eat, I got miso soup as a starter, got to pick and choose from a variety of sushi and sashimi (the cook also asked what I liked and made me some extra goodies) and got green tea for dessert. It was a lovely experience.
Base your excursions on what you want to do in each port. All the stores in St. Thomas close at 5 p.m. (the Havensight mall next to our ship stayed open until 7 the night we were there, but the ones on Main Street closed at 5). We took a submarine excursion for 3 hours and only had time to shop in the Havensight mall. If you like happy hour, the bar next to Al Cohen's liquor store has a happy hour from 3 to 6:30 $2 a beer for domestic beer. I've been told if you love beaches you will love Tortolla. We are not beach folks, but this is what we've heard the two times we've been in tortolla. Bermuda was a gorgeous as ever. We did a glass bottom boat and snorkel excursion which was great. It was supposed to be 3 hours but the crew kept us out for longer as everyone was enjoying snorkeling.
I hope this helps anyone looking at the different ships.