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cruisingfromMN

Spirit 2/27/05 Review: Day Two

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Day Two: I awoke at 8:00 a.m. and spent my time reading in the “living area“ until DH woke up at 9:30. It was a great night sleep to the very gently swaying of the ship. For those of you concerned, we found that the Spirit handled well with no excessive rocking or motion. We had planned on breakfast in our room but passed since sleeping in had instead been the priority. We went to the Buffet which would be our first and last time. Food quality was average to fine but the Spring Breakers made it a not so pleasant experience and they seemed to congregate in this area. With so many options, why go back?

 

The day was cloudy with sporadic rain but we had a full day ahead. I had planned a CC Get Together. The NCL Contact arranged it for 11:00 a.m.. We arrived to find tea, coffee, juice and a variety of cookies. We had a decent attendance considering there was not much activity on the Roll Call ahead of sailing. It was a pleasure to meet the Rannochs, DebbieinOrlando and her husband, and TravelGrandma and her friend. Officers in attendance were Tony Becker, the Hotel Director and Rob (sorry, can’t remember last name) the Food and Beverage Director. Mr. Becker provided a very nice history of the Spirit and future NCL plans. They both answered a multitude of questions we all had. Both Officers spoke of the Spring Breakers and made apologies where they could and provided explanations of NCL measures that were being taken. Already, only 14 hours after sailing considerable damage had been done to the ship. We very much appreciated all that was provided by NCL to make this CC meeting happen. Later that day, I sent a thank you note to Mr. Becker for taking his time and being so kind. I would later find out how much he appreciated the note. He indicated that he had attended a previous CC Get Together only to find out later on CC that the organizer was quite critical of him for “taking over the meeting”. They actually stopped sending Officers to CC Get Together’s because of this and seem to be more selective now. I felt bad for his experience and would suggest to all future planners that if you have a specific request of the Officers, let them know ahead of time. We found everyone to be so accommodating that I would guess when possible, they would do as requested. Our meeting ended about 12:00 and just in time for lunch.

 

We went to Blue Lagoon. I had the Fried Rice with chicken and shrimp, plus the French Fries and a Diet Coke (I bought the Soda Program). A very strange combination but after all, I was on vacation. The rice dish was excellent and I wished I had gone back on another day. So much food, so little time. DH had the Shepherd’s Pie and a beer. A good combination because the pie was a bit spicy and it went well with the beer. Finished lunch just in time for the Latitude’s Party at 1:00. There we were greeted by the Captain and many Officers and we were served the typical but much appreciated drinks and appetizers. As a side note, in our Penthouse upon arrival was the invite to the party with mention of the ship’s pins being attached. Our pins were not there. We ran into our Concierge in the morning, just before leaving for the CC Get Together and mentioned it. When we arrived at the Latitude’s Party, there’s Claudio with our pins! I must mention too, that several Crew Members and Officers commented on our pins as we travel with all that we have accumulated so far. We wear them proudly to the Latitudes Party and as silly as it sounds, it draws interest and appreciation from the crew. The typical prizes were handed out, but our names were not called and there was no way to beat the couple with the most cruises, which was 46. As usual, we enjoyed ourselves.

 

After the party and because of the less than favorable weather, we decided to go back to our room and enjoy. We called Claudio and requested three movies from the Library. He promptly delivered them and we enjoyed resting and watching one of the movies on the full size TV in the living area.

 

Monday was Formal Night. We have never dressed formal but do dress in something a bit more upscale than Resort Casual. Deciding to dine in Windows this evening, we went about 7:00, knowing we were going at peak time. For us though, this is never a factor if we have to wait. After all, we have left behind schedules at home and time is not of importance to us. We arrive at Windows, check in with the Hostess to be told there would be no more than a 5 minute wait….perfectly acceptable. However, while waiting Claudio arrives, sees us waiting and is quite concerned. I assure him everything is fine but he indicates he is going to check with the Hostess. He returns to tell us we will be seated immediately. Before departing, very quietly he tells me “Please Mrs. Xxx, you must call me for anything, you must allow me to serve you”. How can one not appreciate that kind of service. We were immediately called and seated at a window table for two. From then on, when we entered Windows, we were recognized by name and again seated by the very special window tables. And, as long as I am speaking of Windows, we were quite impressed. Although the décor is probably not as stately as Versailles on the Star, the most notable difference which we really appreciated was the lack of vibration and noise. It is very comfortable dining and if only there was more time, we would have been back several more times. Our dinner began with a pre-dinner cocktail of a Gin and Tonic for me and a Black Russian for my husband, followed by Escargot, Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts for both of us (very good) , Lobster for me and Beef Wellington for DH (which he thought was a little bit overdone). A good bottle of Colombia Crest Merlot went well and we followed with a dessert of a Soufflé, with a creamy, most delicious chocolate sauce poured over the top and of course, coffee. As a side note, if you prefer your coffee while eating your dessert be sure to request that. We found it typical that coffee was served very late in the course or even after we were done with the dessert. Not having finished the bottle of wine, it was re-corked and stored for us for a later time. Our service was good and set at a pace of about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Again, time is not of importance here. We are in vacation mode and DH and I are fully enjoying each other and our alone time. We have a fabulous marriage, but to be able to remove the day to day issues of regular life, allows a couple to become reacquainted and provides a new perspective of one another. In advance of the trip, my greatest anticipation would be quality time with DH and we were proving it to be true. Likewise, during the pre-vacation planning, I asked my DH if we would have mobile phones for use on the ship. His response was “we won’t need them, I don’t plan on letting you out of my sight”. This would be our theme…great conversations, no interruptions from the DC (darling children), no pressures…only us.

 

After a good meal, we went to the show called “Night on the Town“. Something that was a bit new for us was that the company of performers was not the Jean Anne Ryan group and instead it was promoted as the NCL Company. The show was not the best, singers were off and well, it was just o.k. None the less, we stayed for the whole show and somehow we still managed to enjoy it. Later in the week, we would attend another show that was quite good. We left the Moulin Rouge theater and headed up to the Galaxy of Stars and while it seemed a bit strange, they were having a New Year’s Celebration. It turned out to be quite fun! We really enjoyed ourselves, sat at the bar and the bartender took care of us, making good drinks. We shared in the New Year‘s Countdown, complete with balloons and streamers. Not sure what time we left, but it was late and decided the best way to end a good day at sea would be in our private Whirlpool. After all, the kids were safe at home, tucked in bed, peacefully sleeping while Grandma and Grandpa were keeping good watch. Ahhhh, no interruptions and no worries!

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I love these reviews. I am going on the Spirit in June to Alaska. It will be my first experience in a penthouse suite also & I am anxious to read everything I can about them.

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Great reviews! Best I've read. We're going on the Spirit in October for a 23 day cruise. We're really excited, and your reviews are making us even more excited!

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Hey Crusin,

You have been describing how wonderful everything was on the Spirit so beautifully, I am missing it even more than I already was. LOL Don't know if I can wait until next summer to try cruising again. Is there a particular reason you have done all your cruising on NCL? I had thought we might try some other lines, but we enjoyed the Spirit so much I just want to sail on it again and again. :)

 

Debbie

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Hey Crusin,

You have been describing how wonderful everything was on the Spirit so beautifully, I am missing it even more than I already was. LOL Don't know if I can wait until next summer to try cruising again. Is there a particular reason you have done all your cruising on NCL? I had thought we might try some other lines, but we enjoyed the Spirit so much I just want to sail on it again and again. :)

 

Debbie

 

Hi Debbie, Hope you arrived home safe and well. It was a great time wasn't it. We have only cruised with NCL because of Freestyle. We have looked at other cruise lines and always come back because we love to eat when we want, with who we want and where we want. Plus, we like the auto tipping and the Specialty Restaurants. We would love to go back to the Spirit. We talked to Duncan on-board about booking again and doing the same five day next year, but the Spirit will be sailing out of NY. As you know, we have our cruise this summer to Alaska but are already thinking about next winter and what to do. Hard to believe that it is already a week since we were getting off the ship. Keep thinking too of the Rannochs and how lucky they were to be staying on for the nine day. Take care and once again, it was fun to meet you.

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