Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Spirit
Sailing Date: March 24th, 2007
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review
My family and I traveled on the Norwegian Spirit March 24-April 1 out of NY. We had a great time and for the money, everything was nice. Leaving out of NY was a breeze. We drove our own car and it cost $24 per day to park – warning: the lot takes CASH only. The boarding process was pretty easy. We did get there around 11:30, which I thought would be too early, but worked out perfectly. We did have to lug our carry-on luggage to lunch because the rooms were not ready until 2pm, but we finished lunch just in time for the rooms to be ready.
I will give some advice to future travelers. If you are traveling with children, purchase a soda card. Even though my two teenage step-sons do not drink soda on a regular basis, we had no other choice but to buy them a soda card ($46). The only other thing to drink was water and unsweetened iced tea. I have been on other cruises that did offer a juice selection, so I was disappointed, but the boys got a soda card (at first we tried to scam the system and only get one a card and have him get soda for his brother, but teenagers are not sly and they kept getting caught).
Also, bring plenty of hangers. There are 4 tiny drawers in the cabin and some shelves in the closet, but there is plenty of room in the closet and not enough hangers provided. So plan on hanging most of your stuff.
Another thing, if you plan on eating at the specialty restaurants (which we did, but they were not anything spectacular) wake up early and make reservations. They only take reservations one day before and they fill up quickly. Although, you will go to any of these restaurants and they will tell you that they are full and do not have any openings until 9:30pm, but you will see a bunch of empty tables. Oh, and these tables will never become occupied (not while we ate at any of them anyway), but for some reason they will claim they are booked. My husband was very bothered by this. We ate at Cagney’s, which is a steak restaurant; I liked it, my husband was not impressed. There were at least 5 tables that remained empty our entire meal. The cover was $20. We also ate at Le Bistro, which is their French restaurant; the cover was also $20 and it was a very nice place, but nothing special. They had a hibachi style restaurant - $20 cover and save your money and go to Gasho of Japan or Benihana. The food was good, but the tricks were limited. The free restaurants were just as good.
If you like to gamble, the casino was nice. Small, but nice. If you play slots, play the first day on board and that’s it. It seems that they only paid out the first day and not after. The tables had a high minimum and there were not a lot of them. We stuck to playing Bingo, which they had everyday. Bingo tip-get the machine and not the cards. Only one person on our ship won with the cards. The machine takes all the fun out of the game, but if you want to win you need it.
If you plan on staying in touch or doing any work on board, there is an internet café. We bought the 250 minutes for $100. We thought we would check our email often, but never really did and had 40 minutes remaining at the end of the vacation. Though be warned that the connection is rather slow.
I cannot really comment on the shore excursions for St. Thomas and Tortola because we did our own thing. But in Samana, we did the beach shore excursion. The island they took us to was beautiful and it seemed to be perfect because there were amenities, beach chairs, places to eat and places to shop. We got a spot at the end of the beach, which had a bunch of small piles of garbage. The people that were working the food areas and the stores were absolutely horrible. If you do not have exact change, they will try and rip you off. It was our last stop and I still had some gifts to buy, but I refused to give any of those people my money. I will also never plan a vacation to the Dominican Republic.
Our balcony room was what I expected. I loved the bathroom; I know that is strange, but I have been on two other cruise lines and this bathroom was huge compared to those. The shower had a sliding door and the toilet was also in its own little room with a sliding door.
Overall, we did enjoy our cruise for what it was.