..am I correct in reading that NCL is not going to let me bring my one bottle of wine or champagne each on board?
Hi Mississippi Philly. NCL hasn't updated its Web site on this policy. You may bring wine onboard, but you have to pay a corkage fee (presently $15) at embarkation. Keep the bottle in your carry-on and declare it when you check in, and you should have no problems.
NCL offers a soda program for teens as well as a separate passport program that includes 20 non-alcoholic drinks. The soda program is $6.25 per day and the teen passport program is $34.50 for the cruise. You can read about them here. (Scroll down to Teen Passport Program.)
Dear Miss. Philly,
You will find a lot of neighbors on the Spirit. It seemed about 90% of the ship was from La or Ms. We drove in from Houston and found the parking at NOLA to be extremely easy. We were on the ship by 11:30.
Okay, now for the question of music and dancing: my husband and I met dancing but haven't done it in years so we wanted to join in on the "ballroom" dance classes that I THOUGHT were pretty standard on cruise shiips. We were pretty surprised that the Spirit has none.
In fact, the dancing opportunities are pretty slim. The Galaxy of the Stars venue on the bow of the ship just above the bridge has a dance floor that is about 20' x 30', and I think that is the largest on board. They have a ship band that plays a variety of music for a few hours each night. There is a bar on Level 8 overlooking the atrium called Champagne Charlies that has a mediocre singer and musician that plays every night about dinner time, but no dance room or floor. It's more like listening to the Captain and Tennille while you wait for dinner. There is a "nightclub" on the top level over the bridge with a small dance floor, but this is used as the teen clubhouse almost all of the time.
We weren't impressed with the other entertainment on board either. On other cruises, we went to the big theatre almost every night so see a great show. The Spirit doesn't have the big broadway-type shows that we have seen on other cruise lines, and the theatre, while quite attractive, is relatively small. We couldn't get seats unless we went VERY early. You can reserve seats for a fee and a minimum drink limit. But since we don't drink much and we have a 13 year old, that was unreasonable for us.
However, the magician that played during our Thanksgiving week was outstanding.
"When did they start this? I have never heard of this program." (reserving seats in theatre with drink minimum and fee)
I have no idea when they started this, as this was our first NCL cruise. They advertised it heavily in the daily newsletter. The reserve seats are on the wood floor in front of the stage with a small bistro table in front of the first row of fixed seating, and the reserve seating also includes the "box" seats above.
I'll 2nd Dyxiegirl's suggestion on the cave tubing in Belize. "Butts up" hee hee. That's who we used (cave-tubing.com) Guides were fantastic: Hilarious and very personable. Another "cruise tour" was drifting with us and the guide was very "by the book" and staid. Going off ship is half the cost of the cruise line and very reliable. IMO, the hike was very easy and really didn't seem to be 4 miles in length. My 65 year dad did it w/ no probs (tho he's pretty in shape) and there were a couple of "outa shape" ppl who didn't didn't seem to have any probs w/ the hike. A nice excursion that is pretty relaxing and not very strenuous.
We cruised on the Spirit in Sept. 2008, this was just prior to her refit and we sat in the theatre in the front row. At that time there was no cover charge or drink minimum! This is something apparently added recently since her refit and repositioning!
The theatre on the Spirit is located in the stern of the ship and seems a bit small for a vesssel the size and passenger capacity of the Spirit. The entertainment was outstanding at that time.
my son is 11 and I was thinking of going on the spirit next year during spring break. Does the water play area have places for him to swim and slide or is for younger kids? Should I just find another cruise ship to go on?
We sailed on the Spirit on a back-to-back East and West Caribbean and loved every moment of it . This was pre-refit in 2005 . The crew were efficient and friendly and the cabins spotlessly clean . We always have a balcony cabin but I guess it's a matter of personal taste . There can't be many things more pleasant than sitting on your balcony in the evening just listening to the waves or having breakfast there in the morning . We made the trip in January and the weather was perfect . Check out the excursions offered by NCL and compare to online deals . It's generally cheaper to do it yourself . We're not buffet fans so never ate there but the restaurants served excellent food . The specialty restaurants were superb, especially the Chinese restaurant . I'm sure you'll have a great trip .
The play area on deck 10 (I think) has a shallow pool with a rock slide going into it. The pool is maybe 20' x 20' and only about 3' deep. It looks really cool, but my extremely tall son was over the height limit, but he wanted to go on that slide.
That is the big kid pool. There are some other water areas for toddlers to adolescents. Most older kids were in the regular pools on the top deck.
There was a lot of things to do on the ship for the kids. I'm sure he will have a great time.