1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
First of all we boarded a ship that we believe had the Noro virus on it and had over 100 cases on the ship. It made the cruise a total disaster from overall terrible food, poor menus that did not change. The service in Windows was terrible ... Read More
First of all we boarded a ship that we believe had the Noro virus on it and had over 100 cases on the ship. It made the cruise a total disaster from overall terrible food, poor menus that did not change. The service in Windows was terrible food was not hot nor served in a timely manner. The hallway to our room always had a horrible odor. The speciality restaurants were fair at best and out of item on the menu. Cagneys served old baked potatoes and very small portion of vegetables. The lettuce was not crisp and had a lot of brown leaves. The tables were so close you could not have any intimate conversations. Because we had our hands sprayed with a bleach or alcohol solution all day long our hands got so dry that they were cracking. The still demanded to spray the solution as it burned. I will continue to suggest that anyone who is thinking about Norwegian not to consider this line. The employees on this ship has no personality and not a lot of fun. The spirit is a horrible ship and the shows were cancelled multiple days. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We had not been on Norwegian Cruise Line before and chose this cruise because of the port calls and itinerary which were fine. Prior to the trip, we felt the information was lacking - for example, we never received a travel package with ... Read More
We had not been on Norwegian Cruise Line before and chose this cruise because of the port calls and itinerary which were fine. Prior to the trip, we felt the information was lacking - for example, we never received a travel package with tickets and luggage tags (which I was expecting from experience with other cruise lines) and it took a bit of navigating to figure out I needed to print everything from the web page before travel. We also had booked with NCL a transfer from the airport to the hotel pre-cruise; the transfer never showed up and our attempts at the airport to call wasn't successful. We also hit a taxi strike on arrival which meant transportation was difficult and costly. Although we were a bit flustered, we are fairly savvy travelers and were able to get to the hotel; I can't imagine how other or older travelers would have dealt with the situation. When we got on board and reported the transfer issue, there was very little sympathy and nothing was done about it. Although there was a long line at embarkation, it was fairly smooth as was debarkation - no complaints. The Spirit ship itself is dated and worn, it also felt very crowded with few places that were quiet and secluded, especially inside. Thank goodness the weather was decent and we could spend time on the deck or we would have felt claustrophobic with the inside spaces. Although we liked the variety of dining options for dinner (we bought the 4 meal package) and the option of eating when you like, lunch and breakfast were limited to Raffles (buffet) and the main dining room for breakfast, and only Raffles for lunch - neither was that good. Breakfast service in Windows was very slow, we waited 2 hours to be served one morning, for example. Because of the slow service and lack of options, a few days that we had an early excursion we chose room service - which had limited options and charged an additional service fee. Raffles food quality was poor and it was over crowded. On day 2 they reported an increase number of GI cases which caused the ship to take additional sanitary measures - certainly this was necessary (and we're glad we didn't get ill), but it added a bit of concern and frustration with the cramped dining in Raffles and being in the common areas. We had an excellent cabin steward and I believe the employees were trying, but it just felt like the ship didn't have enough employees. It was rare that there was more than 2 waiters in the large Galaxy bar area, hardly any waiters on deck or in the show area and they just didn't seem excited to be there (maybe I wouldn't be either). Pretty much you had to go to the bar to get service in most cases. I also thought that dinner service in general just didn't hit the mark - lots of little things missing at every service. Perhaps this is just the standard of this cruise line - it was ok, but we've experienced better. We thought the costs on board were high for things like drinks and services; we had the drinks package but that didn't even include the coffee at the cafe or juices. They add a 20% service charge on everything so you're sometimes surprised at the adds; they also charge a per day service charge at the end. I'm ok with paying service charges and tips, but when the service isn't great, I have a problem with being forced to pay a flat rate. I had one spa service on the cruise; I didn't pay attention to the cost when I signed up and when I got there learned it was $230 for the massage (with the added service cost, and then a line for additional tip). I know spa service on cruises are expensive but $230 - wow! On top of it, we felt the crew was routinely trying to sell you additional things, whether its products at the spa or a decanter at dinner or another cruise, it seemed a bit over the top. Regarding the excursions, we went on several and found them to be interesting and of good value. We also had excellent weather which was a real plus. We wished there had been more activities on the ship besides dance lessons, bingo and quizes; we've been on other cruises that offer lectures, food demos, tours of the ship,etc. which have been a nice variety. We only went to one show as a few got cancelled and the auditorium was a bit clumsy with seating and access. The singers and musicians in the public areas and bars were generally very good. I think I comment in the next section about the cabin but I'll include info here as well. Our cabin was smaller than we expected and very dated. The bed was comfortable and we slept well however. There was adequate storage,but again, the decor, carpet, etc was worn. The bathroom was our biggest complaint; size wise pretty standard for a cruise ship, but the tiles on the floor in the shower and bathroom area were cracked and looking very unhygienic - actually kind of gross. While standing on the broken tile while showering rust or some dirt would come up from under the tiles which didn't make us very confident. I think our room steward did a good job keeping things clean, but I'm not sure you can ever really clean the problem areas like that. We enjoyed being away from work, the ports and the weather and the flexible dining options. We would not go on this ship again as we've experienced better options on other cruise lines. Not sure if we would go on another ship with NCL; some things we liked, but the service issues and costs, etc. put us off. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We choose this cruise because it was our first cruise in 20 years and the ship was sailing out of Barcelona where we were going on holiday. The Spirit will always hold a fond memory for us. Our dining experience was excellant at ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was our first cruise in 20 years and the ship was sailing out of Barcelona where we were going on holiday. The Spirit will always hold a fond memory for us. Our dining experience was excellant at every restaurant and the food was out of this world. We were treated like a queen and king the entire trip. Read 3 books from the Spirit library and my husband attended AA meetings every night. A fitness instructor was available for us and we thoroughly enjoyed the land excursions we took. An excellent trip!!!!’ We have another cruise planned for March 2019 . The cruise will be on the Bliss to the islands. We have not booked our shore excursaions as of yet but we are looking into taking care of.everything in the next couple of weeks. Our cruise planner has done a wonderful job in keeping us up to date on everything we should know about the cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I chose this cruise as a winter sun break on a ship I enjoy. Things didn't go well from before I left. My printer blew up as I was printing my documents, it snowed hard a few hours before my taxi was due and I had a message from the ... Read More
I chose this cruise as a winter sun break on a ship I enjoy. Things didn't go well from before I left. My printer blew up as I was printing my documents, it snowed hard a few hours before my taxi was due and I had a message from the taxi company in Barcelona that because of a strike they would not pick me up from the airport, all this before I had left home. Fortunately I got to Barcelona and was able to get to the hotel and then to the port. Embarkation was it's normal boring self but we got on fairly quickly. The ship looked it's old self and I was pleased to see some crew members were still on from my last cruise. I went down to my cabin and though small it was clean and tidy with enough room for my clothes and another if I had been with someone. My cabin was 9692 which is a balcony aft cabin. The bathroom was clean but small. I was a bit perturbed on the third day when the water came out a browny/yellow colour but was told this was due to them cleaning the pipes and that after running for five minutes it should be alright, which it was but it did make me question the potability of the water after that. I ate mostly at the speciality restaurants and they were as usual fantastic other than they had stopped the free gift from the chef which I thought was a bit mean especially if it was due to cost cutting. Service around the ship was excellent until the outbreak of the GI infection (possibly Novro virus) then things went down hill. Obviously I know it was for the benefit of the passengers but once the crew went on sanitization duties the services dipped to the detriment of my holiday. The ports we visited I was looking forward to especially Casablanca but I don't know if this is due to the amount of port fees you pay but at each port we seemed to be as far from the port entrance as we could be and because of my low mobility I did not get off at most ports. Still I enjoyed being back on the Spirit and met a number of very nice people so overall it was a good vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We as a couple and as a group have cruised the Carribian many times and we were looking to travel somewhere different. This cruise certainly filled that requirement! Arriving at Barcelona Airport we found out there was a Taxi strike. ... Read More
We as a couple and as a group have cruised the Carribian many times and we were looking to travel somewhere different. This cruise certainly filled that requirement! Arriving at Barcelona Airport we found out there was a Taxi strike. Taxis parked all over the main roads, we spent two additional days prior to the Cruise Touring this beautiful City, upon boarding we found the ship to To meet our every desire, Morocco with the exception of the Mosque and “ Ricks Cafe” was a bit of a disappointment. The Canery Islands were spectacular! The Volcano Trek is incorrectly listed it should be a class 3-4 out of 5 Between the elevation and steep terrain not to mention the pace of the tour it certainly should be upgraded for Safety reasons.and if you have any Heart, weight or mobility issues to take a different Tour! Portugal is wonderful and scenic, the Rock of Gibraltar tour Driven by a retired Local Police Officer “Tony” was among the highlights of our trip Along with Sagarita Familia in Barcelona led by David, among other excursions we took a Tapas Walking tour, our guide Ana did a great job bringing local heritage and food together and “Wine always Wine” I recommend since debarking from the ship and a late afternoon Flight to better utilize your time by taking another tour or Senic bus ride until your flight requires your presence, Asfar as the Ship goes getting on or off was easy, our Cabin Steward Mohammad was a pleasure to speak with and did his job well, dining,Casinos,and especially the Blue Moon was excellent. I found the upper decks wonderful for reading.this trip was a wonderful,relaxing, adventure and worth the time and investment Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We have been on 5 NCL cruises, The Star, The Epic, and The Spirit. The Star, Epic, and the first of 3 on The Spirit were all great, but the last 2 on The Spirit have not been a good experience for us. Last year 3 major ports were ... Read More
We have been on 5 NCL cruises, The Star, The Epic, and The Spirit. The Star, Epic, and the first of 3 on The Spirit were all great, but the last 2 on The Spirit have not been a good experience for us. Last year 3 major ports were cancelled because of the weather, and I appreciate that this was just one of those things that could not have been avoided. Our main problem was that we had loud hammering and drilling noise in our stateroom from maintenance work on the deck above. This was every day of the cruise, and apparently there was no other stateroom to move us to. Then we had the problem with Spanish VAT. We had prepaid for a beverage package, as we had done the previous year, with no problems. This second cruise on Spirit was different, we were told that we had to pay VAT while in Spanish waters, even though we had prepaid. On returning home, we found out that we should not have been charged, and it was refunded. Now onto this years cruise on The Spirit. First of all, we had a gastrointestinal virus on the ship, which was discovered during the first port of call. Obviously measures had to be put in place to avoid it spreading, but we feel that more could have been done to make passengers enjoyment of the cruise better. A lot of meals had to be taken in the buffet, and because of cross infection, we were not allowed to serve ourselves. All of the food areas were cordoned off to allow staff to serve us. This meant that there was a lot of congestion, and long queues because there didn’t appear to be enough staff to serve. On top of this,I was informed that a lot of staff had to be taken from non public areas, which resulted in communication issues. Plus, if you wanted food from another area of the buffet, it was necessary to join another queue, by which time the food already on your plate was cold. The dining rooms were not open for lunch on port days, but we feel that they could have opened one of them to alleviate the problem. Apart from what I have already mentioned, we found the food in general to be not as good as before. On our first cruise on The Spirit we had a particular brand of gin before dinner. On the second cruise, we were told that this gin was not on the drinks package as it had been increased to $16.95, and you could only have drinks up to $15 on the package without paying more. Imagine our surprise, when this year, that particular gin had been increased to a staggering $19.95. Now onto the Lattitudes party for returning passengers. We used to receive a personalised invitation card in an envelope, now just a non personalised piece of paper under your stateroom door. No prize draw, and on this occasion no canapés. We were told that this was because of the virus on board, but to be honest, a waiter using tongs to put a canapé on your plate, would have been no different to food being served in the buffet or dining rooms. Some dishes that were on the menu, both in the dining room and the speciality restaurants were unavailable when we visited.. Also, the lunch menu in the dining room while at sea, seemed to be basically the same every day, but on previous cruises the menu alternated. Summing up, we feel it unlikely that we would book another cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
As a seasoned cruiser on many different lines and ships i have just returned from a ten day cruise on NCL SPIRIT. I last used this ship about six years ago on the same tour. At which time we thought it to be an excellent cruise with all ... Read More
As a seasoned cruiser on many different lines and ships i have just returned from a ten day cruise on NCL SPIRIT. I last used this ship about six years ago on the same tour. At which time we thought it to be an excellent cruise with all conditions and services meeting high standards. Alas what a letdown, the food appeared to be mainly for Asians several types of rice and pasta with meats mainly having the Asian twist. For instant there were a dearth of potatoes, you had chips every meal, baked potatoes once and some “black” potatoes (natural). Cheese was another rare item it appeared lunch time with salads (cut small) but none was available at dinnertime for desert. The majority of the food was tepid so by the time you ate it was cold. Breakfast time there were at least three egg stations catering for all tastes – until you wanted ‘Poached’ eggs when you had to go to a special one, heaven forbid you asked for eggs Benedict this you were charged for and on the last day they did do any –when a chef was asked why he replied it was company policy. A good point was the presence of a coffee machine (good for making tea) in the cabin. A big downside was room service which is normally free (at least to midnight) is charged for at over $7 per request. Our balcony cabin was good although we had a single fold –up fouton which was excellent as a mini settee but it did take up a lot of room. The toilet, washroom and shower were separate the toilet and shower each having a solid door. Opposite was a large wardrobe with plenty of hangers and a couple of dressing gowns also a stack of shelve tucked away at the side. There was a mini bar which had a lock on it I can only assume being a non-drinker, the room maid had the key. The TV was awkward to operate and had the usual channels plus lots of foreign stations leaving us with mainly the news and one film channel. On our first day at sea ‘NORO VRUS’ myself and my wife succumbed and spent the next five days in quarantine. We soon got over the sickness and diarrhoea but were only allowed to eat plain boiled rice and grilled chicken accompanied with beef broth, dry toast and jelly which was cold and had to twiddle our thumbs or sleep. Apparently we were informed some people got fed up and went to the buffet which resulted in the spread being up graded to a serious outbreak.. When we were released on day six we found more ‘agro’ the passengers weren’t allowed to touch anything not handed to them. All cruet sets were removed you had to queue up at a drinks terminal and receive small packets; sauces were doled out in little pots. Queuing for drinks took forever, not because the boys were slow it was a continuous queue whether you wanted a bag of sugar or salt, or 6 glasses of water and four glasses of orange juice. Even here so many people started reaching for things under the barrier that they moved the barrier so far from the food that people were moving around the food in single file. One respite was the dining rooms but even here you had to ask for bread to go with the meal and of course the condiments came in little sachets. And all the time in the buffet and dining rooms when a passenger finished his table was striped and ‘Sanitized’. The excursions seem to go alright, the ship sent out cleaners to sanitize the buses even the ‘hop-on, hop-off bus’ was done. The sanitization of the ship seemed continuous with all rails, door knobs in fact anything which could be touched continually coated with cleaning foam. At every entrance and exit was a waiter with a squirt bottle using the phrase ‘washy washy’ and giving you a dose of anti-bacterial spray. Forgive my rants, please check your travel insurance make sure you’ve got ‘Cruise extra’ otherwise you’ll not be able to claim for incarceration. Finally I think it unlikely for me to use Norwegian Cruise Lines again Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Got on the ship within 20 minutes! Very prompt. The ship is small and incredibly old. Which is ok but means the walking deck was roped off alot as they were maintaining. The jogging track often had workers on it . Not enough areas for more ... Read More
Got on the ship within 20 minutes! Very prompt. The ship is small and incredibly old. Which is ok but means the walking deck was roped off alot as they were maintaining. The jogging track often had workers on it . Not enough areas for more than one show and there was no entertainment in the day - not even a film was shown on sea days! Usual bingo and art auction dire rubbish! So old fashioned - as was the shop! Incredible that it is so bad! Our cabin 4536 was really grotty. There was so much silicone in the bathroom patching it up! The hairdryer was an old type in the bathroom, useless to dry hair. Brilliant power shower and bed was comfy. Excellent cabing girl and the staff were very friendly. Terrible smell of gas through the aircon i guess! I went to yoga one day - i am a beginner 0f one year! It was unbelievable - i left and didnt pay ! Disgusted was he even qualified? - it wasnt ANY yoga i recognised!! 12$ for half an hour. The evening shows were good i thought. Apart from mistika illusion thing very old fashioned lots of swishing and flailing! You know the stuff. The ship was VERY hot everywhere i wasnt surprised when there was a Gastro Bug outbreak!!! So no library no games to be had! Was horrid. The ship had alot of Asians which have a slightly different view on politeness than us brits or americans! So plenty of pushing and shoving - hey you go ahead!!! Anyway . We had the ultimate dining package which said it included coffee denoted by C and juice denoted by J. Which did NOT actually include the nicer coffee or juice! Rather mean i thought. You could have a liqueur coffee however ! You could NOT have sparkling water but could have a club soda!! Weird !Drinks, prosecco, wines and cocktails were nice when the soda wasnt flat! Aperol spritz was ALWAYS served with proper prosecco which is good as other cruises sometimes fob you off with the horrid sparkling wine! Buffet selection was VERY poor and the same for the whole 10 days, as was food in the dining room for lunch! The coleslaw was delicious! As were the made to order breakfast eggs! The blue lagoon was just a walkway/corridoor that had tables in serving food!! We had the speciality food package for the 10 days. which meant cagneys le bistro and Trattoria - which is just the upstairs buffet sectioned off- not even a table cloth for the cost! But the pastas were very nice. Teppenyaki is far too greasy for me. I am vegetarian and all these restaurants were excellent in accommodating anything you would like! And saying if there was beef stock in the soup etc. very good. You could mix and match which was a real plus. Shame Le bistro didnt serve the 'emperors cocktail ' though. The place was open to the kitchen so was very hot. Steaks in cagney were excellent apparently. NO atmosphere in the ship no nice music in the day at all. All very grim! Singers etc were good but the 'acts' were all singing the same songs so you heard them alot!!! Considering there are millions of songs out there it seemed ironic!!!! First time we havent put on half a stone on a cruise! Canaries and spain were good where you could just walk off. Casablanca was a filthy place which i had read so i didnt get off there. We always love NCL so this was such a shock at the poor quality! I wonder if the next cruisers knew the whole ship was contaminated! The staff said they would be informed.....with a letter before they boarded the ship! A V O I D ! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I was interested in ports that I haven't been to. Also the price was right. This is the first time with NCL but the experience was as good as any of the other lines I have travelled with (Carnival, Princess, HAL, Celebrity and ... Read More
I was interested in ports that I haven't been to. Also the price was right. This is the first time with NCL but the experience was as good as any of the other lines I have travelled with (Carnival, Princess, HAL, Celebrity and RCI). Lots of activities on board including trivia and different musical venues. Food was great in MDR. Entertainment was very good, 3 production shows, a magician, silk ribbon acrobat, hypnotist, motown trio and a singer. Shows were better than Carnival but not as good as Royal Caribbean. I took private shore excursions which were great except in Morocco where we never got to tour at our destination due to an incompetent driver. Alicante was cancelled due to gale winds but the crew added a bunch of additional activities. Getting off the ship at ports was a breeze. No lineups at any time. Disembarkation was the same. Embarkation was busy as we arrived at 12:00 at peak time. I would definitely consider NCL again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our family of four was enticed to this option by an offer for kids sail free. We then secured one of a couple of inside staterooms on the 4th floor that are about twice as large as other staterooms, meaning the kids (age 7 and 5) had ... Read More
Our family of four was enticed to this option by an offer for kids sail free. We then secured one of a couple of inside staterooms on the 4th floor that are about twice as large as other staterooms, meaning the kids (age 7 and 5) had plenty of room. That made this cruise an incredible value. Rooms also have larger than average showers. Embarkation was, with one caveat, the best we've ever experienced. We arrived at the terminal at 11:00, security took 10 minutes, there was no line for getting our room keys, and our room has already cleaned by the time we were on board. All but one suitcase was delivered to the room by the time we returned from lunch, but we were very frustrated that the last suitcase wasn't delivered until the next day! Evidently security didn't like that we had a surge protector/power strip in the suitcase. Nobody could tell us what was going on, leading to a sleepless night as I wondered about a cruise with one us without clothes. Why couldn't we have resolved that on our first day?!? Probably the best part of the itinerary for us was the kids club. The kids never wanted to leave; we basically had to drag out off the ship for excursions. The kids club counselors and daily activities were varied, entertaining, and active. Food was good, but not great. The fancy dining room food was sometimes uninspiring, and many of the specials were similar to the "favorites" that were available every day. The buffet dinner was themed every night; some were great, some days we saw what was available and went to the fancy dining room instead. Breakfast was enjoyable in either location. Lunch was fun for a few days, but got boring as it didn't change. Perhaps the most frustrating part of the food is nothing was spicy, not even the things labeled spicy. Perhaps the biggest sin would be I ordered buffalo chicken wings, which were available mild or spicy. I asked for spicy and found them sweet and boring. My young daughter, who won't touch spicy food, had one and said "yum, tastes like honey." The ship is the oldest in NCL's fleet and you can see a few frayed edges, but it's well maintained. Being originally designed for Asia, it has some special touches/designs. Attire was casual, with very few sports coats seen even at the fancy restaurant for dinner. Staff were solid. Our steward learned our routine and was rarely seen, but room was always immaculate. Cruise staff were fun and engaging. Restaurant staff were attentive. We found many of the prepared excursions boring or expensive and arranged better private tours at lower cost in most locations. We did use the boat's excursion to Alhambra at the stop in Malaga and really enjoyed the location, but it was quite cold at that elevation early in the morning in January and we weren't totally prepared clothes-wise. I think Madeira was the most beautiful location. On many days we left port at about 4:00 pm; I would have liked one late night in a place like Casablanca for a dinner and show on land. Entertainment was mixed. The staff dancers were good, most of the singers not. The guest magician was dull, but the visiting acrobatic couple were amazing. As is the case with all cruises these days, the company is trying to maximize profit on things like drinks and some activities, but we found the wine options good compared to competitors and the mixed drinks were done well. Gym was small but good. The outside walking track was fine, but stuck as you went around the back of the ship. I found myself preferring to walk on the 7th floor. Read Less
Norwegian Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.8
Dining 4.5 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 3.5 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.2
Service 5.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.5 3.9
Rates N/A 4.0

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