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Andy

Age: 27

Occupation:Law Enforcement

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Spirit

Sailing Date: September 18th, 2004

Itinerary: Alaska

Andy Galles


Embarkation:
My wife and I made our own air travel accommodations opting not to purchase the air package through the cruise line. We arrived in Seattle around 2:00pm with the ship scheduled to leave at 4:30pm. In the baggage claim area of the airport we located and left our baggage with one of the cruise representatives. Being a police officer this always scares me leaving my bags with someone. We boarded the shuttle bus after a short wait in the wind and rain. So far so good.

The shuttle bus driver pointed out key landmarks (space needle) to us in transit, which was much nicer than a quiet ½ hour bus ride.

Upon arriving at pier 66, we were given directions to the check in area of the ship. The Check in process was smooth and quick. We were checked in and on the ship within 15 minutes.

Just before getting on the ship we were stopped to get our photo taken with two characters from the ship, which both of us could have lived without.

Very impressive to the rookie ship travelers! It appeared that you were in a five star hotel lobby. The decorating had a strong Asian theme that was different but nice. The signs on the ship pointed you clearly in the directions you needed to go. We felt that the layout was very passenger friendly. There are plenty of elevators to get you where you are going, but they were a bit slow at times. Our preference would have been totally smoke free. We visited the Galaxy of the Stars lounge on many occasions and found the smoke to be quite overwhelming at times. The ship was spotless everywhere and workers were seen constantly cleaning and polishing. Most all employees we had dealings with were efficient, courteous and helpful. My wife did take a fall down a few stairs while participating in one of the organized activities. One of the cruise directors staff told us in order for us to see an on board doctor we would have to pay the $100 fee. I protested because of the circumstances. We received a call in our cabin about a half hour later from the assistant cruise director telling us to go see the doctor at anytime and there would be no fee. This touch made us happy again. The doctor on the ship was not talkative at all and did not seem to care about my wife’s injury to her wrist. He gave her a brace and sent us on our way. Somewhat disappointing experience!

Adrian the cruise director was hilarious and informative everyday in the theater! Yo Adrian!

Cabin:
The cabin was great. The size was fine. We would have liked more clothing storage. We had a balcony #9060. I would never cruise without one! The TV reception wasn’t the greatest but it was fine for the small amount of time we watched it. The onboard camera on the front of the ship was nice so you can see what is coming as far as scenery. The bathroom was decent sized for a ship. The shower was great! Water pressure and temperature control along with the handheld nozzle was great! We have a Tempurpedic mattress at home so the cabin mattress felt like a slab of concrete, but we still slept soundly at night. The cabin stewards were magnificent; Ana Marie and Kato took great care of our room and were extremely friendly! They did run out of those yummy mints for the pillows thoughL.

Food:
We ate at Raffles a few times including the chocoholic buffet night. The lines were a bit long and I found that they would only use one or two lines to get people through instead of the four-line capability of the restaurant. Seating was hard here also.

We ate at Maxim’s three times! The cover to get in is more than worth what experience you get! Intimate and over the top service! The food was excellent and the service we received was even better! It was very easy to get and make your reservation to this restaurant!

We also ate at Windows and the Garden on multiple occasions, having a great experience here also. The only complaint is the sometimes-long wait list to get in and dine when you wanted.

We did have room service two times with pleasant experiences. The food selection on this menu is limited but all is good and the delivery time was no more than 20 minutes.

Shows:
We went to see most of the Broadway style shows. Neither one of us has been to many of these in the past, but for a ship out in the Pacific Ocean, I was impressed. They all last around 30-40 minutes.

We also went to see the comedians Jeff Harms and a comedian juggler who were both hilarious!

The shows in the in the Galaxy of the Stars were equally funny the only downside again was the heavy smoke allowed.

We also played bingo every time it was offered, big mistake! Our final bill was OUCH! The odds are not in your favor of winning, the games played (only four per day) were easy and winners happened fast. I would only play the final day for the large progressive game in the future! Krak Its was also a big waste of money and they were pushed heavily throughout the cruise, which I thought was tacky.

Ports of Call:

Junea, Skagway and Ketchikan………rain and wind. All beautiful cities and plenty of shopping. Way too many jewelry stores in Ketchikan though. Most of the excursions were getting cancelled due to wind and rain, including whale watching. This was the last Alaska cruise of the year. The best shopping was Juneau. We didn’t get far into Tracy Arms due to the high volume of icebergs and ice build up. Still a cool site seeing adventure!

Disembarkation:
Smooth! We had a 2:00pm flight out of Seattle and we had to shuttle from Vancouver back to Seattle. The night before we got our tags and set our bags out to be collected. The next morning us and about 20 other people were the first off the ship. Customs was a breeze in Canada. They loaded our bags under the bus and off we went. The US customs were slow but understandable. When we arrived at Seattle, they unloaded our bags and we were two hours prior to our flight.

Expenses:
The onboard credit cards to pay for everything is nice, but word of warning, watch your spending because it adds up quickly over the week. We only purchased one pop sticker, as we don’t drink that much pop

Packing tips:
The freestyle dining is nice and the resort casual attire is even better. Don’t over pack clothes and make sure you leave plenty of space for things to be brought back. Don’t bring a hair dryer one is provided that works nicely. Curling irons are ok. Make double sure you have rain gear!!!! Also cameras with plenty of film and binoculars are a must! Also make sure to bring the Tums!

Overall the best vacation I have ever been on! You are treated like a king from the moment you walk on the ship and there are no worries! We will definitely being cruising again soon and with NCL! agalles@hotmail.com  .

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