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Old 05-22-2006, 01:54 PM
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Hi All:

Been a long time since I've been on, had to cancel two cruises in the last couple of months (work, work, work) and Paul and I are about ready to snap if we don't put out to sea soon!

With that in mind we're examining the possibility of sailing on "Spirit" for the 9/30/06 Eight Day cruise to Carribean / Bermuda.

Except for Bermuda we've both been to the other destinations and are more interested in being "disconnected" for eight days than actually going anywhere!

Having sailed "Dawn" two years ago and having fallen in love with the ship I want to know if anyone has sailed on both and feels we'll be disappointed with Spirit. She's about the same age and size but my question is will we miss that extra 85 feet in length during our evening walk around deck? Also, I've noted in more than one place that Spirit is 4 star rated ship versus Dawn which is 4.5. Am I being picky? Will I miss that extra 1/2 star?

As I alluded to, for us the ship is truly our destination on this trip and we want to make sure we're making the right choice!

If it weren't for the timing of our very busy schedules, we'd go on the Dawn but she's sailing New England in September and one thing we want is to make sure we're headed south to warmth before fall hits. We don't want to bring fall earlier than need be!

Thanks for reading and for any feedback you can give!
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:34 PM
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I haven't sailed on the Dawn, but I believe the Spirit offers much of the same venues as the Dawn.
About the only thing you'll miss on the Spirit that's on the Dawn is a third main restaurant, a Tapas Bar, and Dazzles Lounge. Meanwhile, the Spirit offers the Galaxy of the Stars and the Maharini's Lounge.
The rooms are basically the same size, but the Spirit lacks mini-suites, and has far fewer suites than the Dawn, and is completely lacking in Garden Villas. If you usually book insides, oceanviews, and balconies, you're not going to see much differences in the rooms.
So, if you're sailing from New York, and wish to head south, the Spirit is a good choice, and will provide a slightly different experience. After all, variety adds spice to life. The Spirit's asian decor is very beautiful and very different than the Dawn's.
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Old 05-25-2006, 04:00 AM
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Hi Ron:

Thanks for the input...it helps a lot!

I think we'll book this weekend then. We're probably going oceanview anyway (we don't beleive in spending a fortune on the room...it frees up money for other things) so as you say, the lack of minis or garden villas isn't a problem.

I didn't realize she had Asian decor (although as the former Superstar Leo I should have figured that out on my own )

I'll keep you posted and I'm sure we'll fall in love with Spirit too!

Take care!

Darryl
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Old 05-31-2006, 09:53 AM
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we just returnen from fla/bahamas on the spirit. it was the worse cruise i have ever been on! freestyle dining stinks. the buffet food was not appitizing. dining rooms so-so. you could get some good food if you went to the speciality dining rooms($20/pp)shore excursions are double the cost if you purchase through the cruise line. if you are going to bermuda (great place) the best line to travel with is rcl out of bayoone,nj. big difference in the food, rooms , pools ect.we have been to bermuda 5x on different ships , rcl was the best.
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Old 05-31-2006, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by chole:
we just returnen from fla/bahamas on the spirit. it was the worse cruise i have ever been on! freestyle dining stinks. the buffet food was not appitizing. dining rooms so-so. you could get some good food if you went to the speciality dining rooms($20/pp)shore excursions are double the cost if you purchase through the cruise line. if you are going to bermuda (great place) the best line to travel with is rcl out of bayoone,nj. big difference in the food, rooms , pools ect.we have been to bermuda 5x on different ships , rcl was the best.
Sorry you disliked Freestyle Dining so much.
What else about the food did you not like?
It's been my experience you either love or hate Freestyle Dining. I much rather dine when, where, and with whom I wish rather than dining at the cruise line discretion. As for the quality of the food, I haven't seen any differences between the different cruise lines.
Buffet foods are always tasteless. There's more to having a cruise vacation than dinner.

As for shore excursions, doesn't RCL charge twice as much as you can book privately too?

As for pools, the Spirit's pools aren't that much smaller than those on RCL.

As for rooms, the Spirit's are just as large as you'll find on RCL. The NCL's 76,000 tons Spirit smallest cabins are 149 sq.ft. The NCL's 93,000 tons Star class ships smallest cabins are 141 sq.ft.
The RCL's 138,000 tons Voyager of the Seas class ships smallest cabins are 160 sq.ft. The RCL's 88,000 tons Radiance of the Seas class ships smallest cabins are 165 sq.ft. The RCL's 78,000 tons Vision of the Seas class smallest cabins are 135 sq.ft.

When comparing the Spirit with a similar sized RCL ship built about the same time, believe it or not, the smallest cabins are actually larger on the Spirit.

To each their own....
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Old 06-01-2006, 08:52 AM
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hi roy, indeed there is more to a cruise than dinner. on our cruise there basically was nothing else. it rained most of the time(not the cruise line's fault) so, the only entertainment that was scheduled was for outdoors which was canceled. the indoor things to do were casino, shops ,classes($25/pp)$$$. we took several shore excursions ,it was not so much that the price was doubled as the fact that on one we went to a little island (pearl is) to snorkel in the pouring rain with no shelter. on our trip to bermuda with rcl we had a bal. rm. which was bigger than the bal. rm. on ncl. also there were 3 pools , 1 adults only, ncl 1 pool, 4 hot tubs(packed with people ) 1 hot tub had 6 people in there fully clothed long pants ,long sleeves.(i kid you not)! freestyle stinks because i find that when tips are given on formal night instead of automatically on your bill, the wait staff are much more friendly.which made our cruise more enjoyable.we have cruised many times before, this was our worst experience.
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Old 06-01-2006, 09:41 AM
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As Ron said, to each his own. Probably best, chole, that you stick to RCCL, since you seem happy with them. Personally, I find some things I like better on RCCL and others I like better on NCL. And there are yet other cruise lines which have a lot to offer in different areas.
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Old 06-20-2006, 08:34 AM
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Hi Darryl,
Just got off the 8 day cruise.(6-03-06)
Was on the Dawn last year(2-27-05)
The Dawn is I believe 3 years newer.My wife and I enjoyed the Spirit just as much,if not more than the Dawn.
What we liked about the spirit more than the Dawn, is the way the outside decks are designed.
If you can't find a place to sun bathe than you really weren't looking. We don't have young children but really enjoyed watching them in the wet and wild children's area.(deck 10)
The blue lagoon (all food was excellant)we felt was a little over used.I believe because the food in Raffles is not away hot.If you get there when they first put out,it is find. My wife and I liked it there reguardless.
We enjoyed so much that we booked the exact same cruise for 5-19-07. Same stateroom and all. We got a very good price.
We were in 13 foot seas and she handled them well. Water glass in Windows never moved.
After next year we're booking the Gem(providing all is well)and if after that if the Dawn is still around we will go back on her.
We like leaving out of New York.
I hope you enjoy the Spirit as much as I did.
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:51 PM
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I need to reply to ron's assumption that all buffets on cruise lines are tasteless. I completely disagree! I have been on Carnival and I have never eaten better in my life! I hope that NCL fixes the bad food if I still go on my cruise! I am going on the dawn in December and am quite worried about it.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
I am going on the dawn in December and am quite worried about it.
Hannah777,
Part of the fun of cruising is the anticipation and the countdown to the day of departure. Since you seem so concerned, you are missing one of the basic pleasures in cruising. I don't understand why you don't cancel your Dawn booking since you are so worried and book on Carnival since you seem to prefer them anyway.
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