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Jude 04-30-2007 10:48 AM

Hey folks. As I promised I am back from my vacation and here is what I thought of it...

I took the Spirit from NYC to Bermuda to Tortola to St. Thomas Back to NYC. 8 days most of them at sea. We were in cabin 8502 which is port side (left side) right above the E in the name. Cabin was a nice size. It fit two people well and we pushed the two beds together which added some extra room. The bathroom fit me well (couldnt lounge out) but big enough to fit me comfotably ( 6'2" 260lbs so you get the idea) The bathroom also had a hair dryer built in which was enough for the little lady to dry her hair each day with. There was also a plug in the bathroom for electric shavers (American outlet style). The shower was big enough for me to move around comfotably but i would say its a large shower. The room also had a nice large closet with ample shelf space and a safe which we used religously and is free. The TV wasnt big but enough to enough. Chanels 2 and 3 were ship chanels. 2 shows the foward facing camera and 3 is a report from the brifge showing where you are, wind speed, wind direction, sea state that sort of stuff. Then there is channels 4 and 5 which are free movie channels. The line up on our cruise was as follows Pirates Of The Carribean 2, The Guardian, Mona Lisa's Smile, The Da Vinci Code, Over The Hedge, and several more that I cant remeber off hand. We also had CNN and TNT channels. There are also a few more channels that show resturant menus, show scheduls and other onboard things.

The resturants.. We tried them all. Our favorite by far was La Bestrio which was a french styled resturant and I must say after going 2 times we basically tried the whole menu minus the desserts. The food was rich and filling. Recomendations: Boston Hearts Salad, mixed greens with a honey dejon dressing; Esscrgott, snails out of shell in a garlic champaine sauce; Mussels, in shell drenched in a cream sauce; Onion soup, enough said there ; Steak and Ribs, I forget the actual menu name which was french but these are pulled pork ribs and a small filet minon; Bake Atlantic Salmon, in a champaine sauce over spinach and asparagus. The desert menu was large although all we tried was the creme brulie. Cover charge is 15 dollars
Shogun.. Asain themed. Both cooked and sushi on the menu. Food was excellent and we tried a little of each. Little lady tried the sushi which I am not a big fan of but she said it was excellent. I had the asian fairs and must say was delistious. Cover charge 10 for the asian menu 15 for the sushi.
Cagney's.. American Stake House. Here was a problem.. Food was excellent service was poor. I ordered a single glass of wine at the start of the meal after asking for it 5 times I recived it at dessert. Their explination... had to find the wine? Beyond that I would say try it but be prepared. Cover Charge 20 dollars.
Windows.. Menu Style Resturant.. Each day the menu changes and it is a 5 course meal. Food was great and we ate there 2 days. No Cover Charge
Garden Room.. Sam,e as Windows.. No Cover Charge.
Buffet.. well its ok but we stuck to the pool side fairs which changed each day and seemed a better quality.
Room Service.. Free Of Charge 24 hours a day. Limited menu but is excellent food late at night.

Shows.. Excellent.. we seen a few not all of them but what we did see was amazing. All are free and drinks can be ordered before hand. There are 5 tables right up front of the stage that say reserved. Just go up to one of the waiters and ask to sit there you will need to by a drink or two but thats it. Great seats for a simple drink order.

Casino.. VERY LIMITED. Roulette 2 tables, Texas Hold'em 2 tables, 3 card 2 tables, Black Jack 4 tables, Let It Ride 1 Table. Various slot machines but not many. Slots are tight with very little payouts. Tables are good but depends on the dealers.

Drinks are ok. Run around 6 dollars each with gratuity added. There are several days where they have tastings; beer, martini and margaritas. Here you pay 20 bucks per person and recive 7 diffrent drinks. Pretty good for the price.

Kids activities.. as I do not have a kid I can only coment on what I had heard. Everyone said its excellent child care. They have things for the young ones all the way to teenagers. They have there own seperate pool which is more like a water park then anything else.

Service. I would rate this as good. Some service was above and beyond excellent and some was fair. The only complaint we had was with the spa staff. I had prebooked a spa treatment for the little lady and myself. I went to book and appointment and was looked at as a leeper. They were obnoxious and not willing to help. I need to get the Hotel Manager and Spa Manager involved to get any kind of service.

Ok to the islands..
Bermuda. Great little island. Do Not expect tropical paradise as the island is even with the North Carolina border. Tempos were in the upper 60s and water was 65. We left the ship and justy bought a bus pass. 12 dollars per person and comes with a schedual that is both laid out well and easy to follow. This was our excursion. Horseshoe Bay (pink sandy beachs) off to Hamilton (shoping and a bite to eat) then jump on the ferry (included in the buss pass) across the bay back to the Naval Dock Yard. Eat at the bonefish grill which had excellent light fair and bar.
Tortolla.. here we did the dolphin swim. Excellent experience. If you love dolphins THIS is something you do not want to miss. We were in life jackets and in the water the whole time with them. Petting, playing and riding on them. After this experience we went back to the ship and did a little shopping in the local mall. About a 3 minute walk away from the ship.
St. Thomas.. here we went scuba diving and afterwards took a long rainy drive back to the ship. We were already wet so it didnt matter but it was raining so hard we just stood aboard ship and went to the resturants and bars.

My overall impression. I liked the cruise. Being my first I have nothing else to compare it too but must say I was impressed. I left with no expectations and built my impression day by day. I would do it again with NCL and as a final word... A cruise is only as good as YOU make it. The staff does there job and if you want more you must ask for it.

I will post pictures once I get them all developed to CD and downloaded.

Thank You Everyone that made recomendations and suggestions. I used them and they worked.

Thank You Agian for making this a great cruise.

Jude 04-30-2007 02:24 PM

Oh I almost forgot. I have a few recomendations to folks that need help with fun and reservations...

Cruise fun director (I forget his real title) Que from South Africa. This man made us laugh so much it was exceptional. Spent many a night with us at the several bars and activities they have. Even picked up a few rounds. I forget his last name but trust me you cant miss him. About 6 foot and a bald head that looks like a Que Ball This man came from Holland America and this was his first cruise with NCL he is on a 9 month contract so he will be there for upcoming cruises.

Mary the matri' dee at La Bestrio. This lady went well beyond expectations. We booked a 7:30 reservation and at around 5:30 we had a ship board announcment to contact her via phone or in person. We promptly called and were told that due to high voloume would we like an 8:30 reservation for a more intate experince. We agreed and were extremly surprised to find her awaiting us by name without us even having to say it. After the dinner we asked to have the same reservation the next day (last day of sailing) she said she would try but that it was booked solid. Next day we got a call at 4pm and were told we had the resrvation. This is the excellent service I was hoping for.

Have a problem? See Shelly at the main desk. This lady solved a few glitches for us, speciffically the Spa booking problem and actually walked us up to the spa and talked with the manager there to resolve our issues. We also had a few billing problems (returned specialty cups and such) that showed on our bill. Without question she removed them. Again amazing customer service.

There was another women at the excursions desk whose name I do not remeber that helped us with our prebooked scuba excursion. She was from Austria and a blond. Works the desk all the time. Very pleasant to work with.

There are many many folks aboard in various areas and services that were exceptional. It seemed most of the folks were willing to help and or be personable as long as you just treated them well. Not tipping wise but as a person. Just a nice hello how are you made them smile and it seemed the service improved. I guess servicing 2500 passengers they feel neglected.

We had many waiters and waitresses that were the same day to day and remebered us always.

We didnt have one issue that ruined our vacation and not many to speak of that were above what would happen anywhere.

Again we enjoyed this cruise and would recomened it to anyone. Just remeber you get out what you put in.

Ron Clark 04-30-2007 02:46 PM

It's nice to read a review from a happy passenger, instead of a disappointed one, even though not everything was perfect.

I agree with you, your attitude and how you handle small disappointments will make or break a cruise.

So, when do you plan to take your next cruise?

bfein 04-30-2007 04:17 PM

Loved your post !!! Followed all your past posts - so glad things worked out ! Nice to hear a kind word about Spirit - we loved it... I was begining to think we were the only ones. A cruise IS what you make of it!!! Can't wait to book our next....

LisaP 04-30-2007 04:49 PM

Jude, I am so glad to hear you had a good time... I know how much you were looking forward to this trip. You are so right -- a cruise is what you make of it.

Thank you for checking in!

Jude 05-01-2007 03:10 AM

Thanks folks. It is true that you get what you put in. I heard some absurd complaints while onboard and almost started laughing. I cant believe people expect to be waited on hand and foot like some movie stars when there are 2500 other people that need to be taken care of. The minor things happen, even at 5 star all inclusive resorts. I just rolled with it and made sure they didnt ruin anything.

We are planning another trip possibly for next year. We are looking into an Alaska cruise onboard the Holland America ships as per a few folks and staff that have done them. Also looking at a possible Eastern Carribean or a Southern Carribean. Not sure yet. The little lady is looking at other things such as all inclusives.

We had a blast and it was an amazing trip. Some of the highlights from memory...

Stary nights. I couldnt belive all the stars!! We were even blessed with a meteor shower on Sunday night which the ship even announced and served cocktails during.

Spirit Idol.. this was the ships version of American Idol. It was held in the Majarajis(sp) Lounge. I enetered an took second place which gave us a free night of drinks at the bar.

The Broadway show put on by the Spirits dance team. Basically a two hour broadway musically hitting all the major musicals from Le Mis to Cats to Rent. Very well put on and a big hit.

The comedy jugglers called Shark Bait. These guys were amazing not just because of the juggling but because of the crowd participation and also the finally which for the night it was done with the amount of ship rocking and rolling was a feat in of itself. I wont tell you what it was because a few of you are going soon and they will be onboard for awhile and I dont want to spoil it for you.

Those are just some of the great memories. We had so many it will be sometime before I remeber them all. Its all still kind of a blur.

Thanks again everyone for all your help you were the ones that made the cruise for us. You all calmed our fears and worries and helped us experence the cruise the correct way without preconcived notions of service or style.


carlg 05-01-2007 04:55 AM

Somehow posted this message in the wrong thread last time. Must have had two windows open here. Anyways, glad to hear you had a great time Jude! Thanks for the detailed review!

Richard & Mary 05-01-2007 05:51 PM


Thanks for a detailed and HONEST opinion. It just shows NCL future passengers should NOT be scared away from comments from others that have a tendency to blow cruise experiences out of proportion.

As I have always stated in my posts and you agreed, it is what you the cruiser expects and make of the cruise.

We are just three weeks away from re-boarding the NCL Pearl to Alaska and just can't wait.

05-02-2007 08:00 AM


new to cruise from Phoenix 05-02-2007 03:21 PM


Originally posted by Richard & Mary:

Thanks for a detailed and HONEST opinion. It just shows NCL future passengers should NOT be scared away from comments from others that have a tendency to blow cruise experiences out of proportion.

As I have always stated in my posts and you agreed, it is what you the cruiser expects and make of the cruise.

We are just three weeks away from re-boarding the NCL Pearl to Alaska and just can't wait.
Sounds like you are on same cruise as I am- May 27th on Pearl- hope to meet you there! Is there any way to set up a meeting once we are on board? This is our first cruise and anxious to meet experienced cruisers.

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