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bman46

Norwegian Spirit Review 1/16/05-1/21/05

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Here is my review, if you have any questions or comments id love to hear them!

I headed out on this cruise not exactly knowing what to expect after reading the reviews here at Cruise Critic. Here are my feelings on the cruise:

 

Embarkation: Very organized. We arrived 1 hour before they told us to. First you wait on a short line to sign in and provide your credit card information for on ship charges. You are then moved to another room where you wait for a short period for your room keys. You then proceed to a waiting area with seats where we waited approximately 5-10 minutes to be processed through security and were allowed right onto the boat. Embarkation took less then an hour which I find to be quite acceptable.

 

 

Activities & Entertainment: Activities were quite varied. Some of the activities we attended and enjoyed were the legal seminars, ice carving, sushi preparation and tasting, up close magic and much more. Every day you are provided with a comprehensive list of all events going on. Everything was organized well. The entertainment was far above average, The crew shows were great and the crew was very talented. The Magician was fantastic and hilarious. The comedian was really bad the first night and a bit better the second show. Ricky the cruise director was very entertaining and fit the job perfectly. His television show on the cruise TV channel describing the days events was very silly but worth watching. One complaint I had was that as a 22 year old there was no music appropriate for my age group in any of the discos. They played NO hip hop or modern dance music, just 70s Bar Mitzvah style music and ethnic tunes.

 

 

Excursions & Destinations: The cruise was supposed to be 2 stops which were Grand Cayman and Honduras. Since there is no dock at Grand Cayman and the Cruise had to be tendered, the bad weather and wind won and the cruise diverted to Cozumel Mexico. Within 1 hour of the diversion, the excursion desk had a whole new list of excursions and were very organized in registering people for new excursions. We took the ATV Jungle Kayaking and Snorkeling excursion for $150 for a couple. The excursion was fun and ATVing was great but due to the wind they cancelled the Snorkeling and Kayaking parts. I felt $150 was too high for just an ATV trip and that we didn’t get everything we paid for. I complained to the excursion desk with a few other couples and felt as if I were being blown off. It took around 5 trips to the shore excursion desk to receive any kind of resolution. Every time they just said they are e-mailing the tour group. I really felt it was inappropriate and amateur that we had to know that they were arguing with the tour company about getting a refund. We booked the excursion through Norwegian and hence Norwegian should have instantly taken care of us. After 5 trips to the excursion desk, the last day they gave us a 30% discount, which was nice but should have been taken care of more easily. The second stop was Honduras where we chose not to take an excursion. That was a huge mistake. Honduras is the WORST PLACE I HAVE EVER BEEN TO. You dock in a fenced off area with security guards wearing tank tops and shorts with a glock tucked into the back of their shorts gangster style to keep the locals away from the boat. Norwegian tells you to make a right on the street the boat is docked on and there is supposed to be great shopping and a nice town. The first thing you are confronted by is extremely aggressive cab drivers basically threatening you that you better take a ride with them. Then you walk outside the fenced in area and are bombarded by tour guides telling you it’s their job to take you around the island. When you say no thanks they say “We don’t need your thanks we need your money.” After that little kids follow you around, grabbing onto your pants demanding a dollar while they scream at you on the sides of the streets to come in their store. I was offered drugs about 10 times in 15 minutes. I picked up a rock just because I felt so unsafe and wanted something to defend myself just incase. I was so disgusted by this experience we got back on the boat within 15 minutes and spent the rest of the day on the boat. At the end of the day we heard many reports of people being mugged on the streets and in taxis at gunpoint. I even personally saw someone at the shore excursion desk with a police report regarding being mugged. My guess is that NCL docks at this point because it costs about 50Cents since no other company would want to dock at such a dump. If you go to this island on your cruise bring protection, very little money and go on an NCL excursion!

 

 

Food and Service: The food on this cruise was great. We ate at Windows, The Garden Room, Bier Garden and Raffles. All were above acceptable and Windows and The Garden room were very classy. The food at both was top class. On lobster night they even offer to take the lobster out of the shell for you. The menu varied widely and the theme nights were nice (Mediterranean theme, Italian theme etc.) The service was better some nights then others but we were done with dinner in less the 2 hours every night and lunch was served in less then an hour. We had no problem being seated and never waited even 1 minute to sit down at any time we went, any night. Half the time we were seated at a 2 person table right by the window so we could look out on the ocean and half the time we sat with others. Everyone was very friendly. You could order as much as you would like and the waiters were very attentive to your needs.

 

 

The maid service was FANTASTIC. Our lady was superb and was always looking to make our time as enjoyable as possible. She stayed out of our way and was constantly in the hall to greet us when we came in and out of the room. She even left mints on our pillows every night.

 

 

The room was small but comparable to any other room ive been in at a cruise. The bathroom was great and the shower was even better. Nice and spacious and the water pressure was fabulous. The bed was on the hard side but I must have enjoyed it since I slept like a baby.

 

 

Auto tipping was reasonable and a nice feature that saved us the headache of figuring out what to tip each person who helped us through the cruise.

 

 

Debarkation was smooth and we were allowed to just wait in our room until our color group was called. We relaxed and watched TV until our color was called and then got right off the boat with no problems.

 

 

Overall I loved the cruise and would cruise with NCL again. The Spirit was beautiful inside and out. The service was very good and the food outstanding. The price didn’t break the bank and I would recommend the Norwegian Spirit to anyone. If you can skip Honduras, I would suggest it as well!

 

 

Happy Cruising

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The second stop was Honduras where we chose not to take an excursion. That was a huge mistake. Honduras is the WORST PLACE I HAVE EVER BEEN TO. You dock in a fenced off area with security guards wearing tank tops and shorts with a glock tucked into the back of their shorts gangster style to keep the locals away from the boat. Norwegian tells you to make a right on the street the boat is docked on and there is supposed to be great shopping and a nice town. The first thing you are confronted by is extremely aggressive cab drivers basically threatening you that you better take a ride with them. Then you walk outside the fenced in area and are bombarded by tour guides telling you it’s their job to take you around the island. When you say no thanks they say “We don’t need your thanks we need your money.” After that little kids follow you around, grabbing onto your pants demanding a dollar while they scream at you on the sides of the streets to come in their store. I was offered drugs about 10 times in 15 minutes. I picked up a rock just because I felt so unsafe and wanted something to defend myself just incase. I was so disgusted by this experience we got back on the boat within 15 minutes and spent the rest of the day on the boat. At the end of the day we heard many reports of people being mugged on the streets and in taxis at gunpoint. I even personally saw someone at the shore excursion desk with a police report regarding being mugged. My guess is that NCL docks at this point because it costs about 50Cents since no other company would want to dock at such a dump. If you go to this island on your cruise bring protection, very little money and go on an NCL excursion!

 

It's too bad you had such a lousy stay in Roatan. I personally feel that either things have really changed or that you are either exaggerating or very inexperienced in world travel. I enjoyed my stop their and found the locals delightful. In fact we are stopping their on my next trip on Celebrity's Horizon and looking forward to it.:D This just shows everyone on this board how different people can have different opinions about the same things.

 

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We were in Roatan three weeks ago and loved it. People were friendly and the island, though poor, is beautiful. Different strokes for different folks.

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I was just there a couple weeks ago and it wasn't at all like that. Sure, they are poor and yes they beg for money - but the majority of the people on Roatan are the happiest, friendliest people you will ever meet. I have travelled all over the world and I didn't feel unsafe for one minute. I highly doubt things have changed that drastically over the course of a couple weeks.

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Oh, my.. What an experience.. We were in Roatan in Sept. and had no problems at all. I was with a group of 5 women. We walked to the right of the ship and did some shopping.. We did have 2 little boys that tagged with us, but they led us to some cheap tshirt shopping.. The only thing I was offered was a fresh coconut..

It is a very poor country and the reason for docking there obviously is the water.. The most beautiful and silky water I have ever been in..

The folks we dealt with were wonderful,, so sorry for your bad experience..

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I have to say, I have not traveled all over the world, and Bman I for one appreciate your insight. When one has a frightening incident, it is not unusual to feel very strongly about it.

 

We have always lived in suburban, sometimes rural areas, so my kids aren't used to people begging or even aggressive cabbies. If we experienced even half of what you did, my children would absolutely freak!

 

I'm not saying I want to shelter them forever, we have plans to bring school supplies for the orphanage, but I am on vacation, and am looking to relax, have a cocktail, spend some time with my Mom who lives 20 hours away...

 

We have friends and family who travel worldwide extensively, and love to immerse themselves in local culture, my idea of vacation would bore them to tears. When my kids are older I will show them the world, warts and all, but for now I will take the safe route, and show them a little at a time.

 

Thanks for taking the time to write your review, B-man, there isn't a lot about the 5 day written yet.

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I hope your experience in Roatan was out of the ordinary and the island hasn't changed that much in the past year. I have visited there often and found the island to be one of the friendliest places in the Caribbean.

 

Now at first I thought you were talking about mainland Hondorus instead of Roatan. I agree that the mainland is unsafe.

 

My wife and I are actually lookng into buying property to retire in Roatan in 5 to 10 years.

 

Don

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At first I thought you were talking about the mainland too! We also enjoyed Roatan. We went to the Salt and Pepper club and enjoyed the beautiful beach and great food. Just don't forget the bug spray!! ;) We met some lovely children and one little girl played with mine the entire afternoon. I could tell that it was a third world country, that is why we planned an excursion that was recommended by cruisecritic. We had a toddler with us and wanted something safe. I was not scared for her safety or ours the whole day. I would go back again!

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I was on this same exact cruise January 16th-21st. I found Roatan to be enjoyable, and I live in a suburban area, sometimes in rural areas. I enjoyed the welcome as we got off the ship. The country is very poor, but I found the people to be very friendly. The prices in some of the shops were a little on the high side for the product. I think they inflate the prices just for the tourists. I did encounter a few children peddling whatever they had to sale, but I said no thanks and they went away. I did not take an organized shore excursion, but instead went on my own and took a tour with a taxi driver and felt very safe, I did not even think about anything bad happening to me or my guests. In fact the people of Honduras were friendlier than some of the passengers I encountered on the ship.

 

I was disappointed to go to Cozumel, the only reason I picked this cruise was because it didn't go to Cozumel...but oh well, nothing I could do about that. I enjoyed mysef still the same. I did feel that the passengers on the ship were a bit older than the crowd I like to hang with. I did have some bad experiences with a few ignorant passengers on the ship who acted as if they got in the same elevator or public room with us, we would bite their heads off or something.

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I was also on this same cruise. We were there in Sept also. I really like Roatan. It is a very beautiful island if you venture out. We took a cab ride to the Mayan Princess and enjoyed their beautiful beach. Yes, the children do go around selling merchandise but I look at it like they really need the money and if I want to buy something I would rather give it to them then a shop. They did not bother me. If you say no thank you they leave you alone.

Both trips we had very friendly cab drivers that come back for us when we tell them. We don't pay until they have us back to the ship.

I have been to alot of islands and feel that you have to expect the poor begging and the islanders hoping to make a buck. I don't think I have ever been threatened by any. Jamaica was probably my worst experience. They folllowed us down the street and we were offered drugs on the beach. I felt very unsafe.

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Jamaica was probably my worst experience. They folllowed us down the street and we were offered drugs on the beach. I felt very unsafe.

 

I know what you mean about Jamaica, same thing happened to me too.

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I haven't been to Cozumel in 10 years, can you tell me why you didn't want to go there? Have you been there too many times, or did you not like it?

 

Is Grand Cayman often windy, or is it just early in the year that the seas are so rough? Even though people are saying it's kind of brown after the hurricane, I was really looking forward to visiting there.

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I am sorry that you had such a bad experience in Roatan. We had planned our own excursion there - to the Sante Wellness Spa and had a wonderful day. Once you get out of Coxen Hole, the island is really quite lovely. I do agree about the hideous parking lot though - I feared for my safety not from the people(everyone I encountered was friendly) but from the aggressive and excessive traffic in the lot.

Hopefully in the future they will get that parking lot area better arranged. If you go to Roatan again - get out of the port and see the island - it really is worth it.

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I haven't been to Cozumel in 10 years, can you tell me why you didn't want to go there? Have you been there too many times, or did you not like it?

 

I have just been there too many times, wanted to see and do something totally different. I have been to Grand Cayman before, but not as nearly as many times as I had been to Cozumel.

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Do any of you from the 5 day NCL cruise have the dailies.

 

I have all of the freestyle dailies from Jan.16th-2oth, not sure how to get them to you though. I am new to these forums. I can't find the one I had on the day of disembarkation.

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Please email them to me, if you please. rkacochrane@adelphia.net

 

I have tried sending them to you, not sure if you can read them, they seem a bit small. It appears to be a rather large file when I try to email directly, each page scanned as an individual file. Don't know how to make it one large file.

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thanks trvl4fun, what did you guys do in Cozumel? Anything you would suggest?

 

Did you enjoy the Spirit? would you cruise them again? :)

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trvl4fun,

I did have some bad experiences with a few ignorant passengers on the ship who acted as if they got in the same elevator or public room with us, we would bite their heads off or something.

Looking for some insight into this, I glanced up at where you were from. In that quick second, my eyes and brain translated your town to Dracula, and I thought that might have something to do with the head biting thing.:p

 

Of course the double take cleared up that confusion.

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thanks trvl4fun, what did you guys do in Cozumel? Anything you would suggest?

 

Did you enjoy the Spirit? would you cruise them again? :)

 

I am actually booked on the Spirit April 1st, for the 9 day Southern Carribbean. Would have loved to do the back to back, but didn't have the time then.

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trvl4fun,

 

Looking for some insight into this, I glanced up at where you were from. In that quick second, my eyes and brain translated your town to Dracula, and I thought that might have something to do with the head biting thing.:p

 

Of course the double take cleared up that confusion.

 

Funny, I do hear that a lot. Dracula with the R.

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hey trvl, we're on right before you, march 27, we'll try to leave the ship in good shape for you.

 

Nice to hear you're going on them again..

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