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Returned from Spirit - CD: It it me or did he suck?

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((BEFORE I begin my comments on aspects of the cruise, can anyone comment on their feelings towards CD Ricky Matthews? We thought he was just awful, and even after a high energy performance from the cast, Matthews seemed to suck the oxygen right out of the room when he came on stage! I would love to hear others feelings on Ricky Matthews.))

 

We just returned from the 9 day southern Caribbean cruise on the SPIRIT. (We had been on the Sky several times, totaling 39 days.) The ship is very elegant, although in need of a bit more maintenance. There was quite a bit of rust on the balconies, and the varnish along the rails in the staterooms is downright worn. The finish of the public spaces is more in order.

 

The rooms are tidy and kept in good order. We had a leak from the shower door that caused for a very slight musty odor, but not overpowering. The cabin attendants were terrific, and very accommodating.

 

The upper deck space is rather spacious when you take into account the upper level chaises, the vast forward space and the three tiered amphitheater space aft. Naturally people hoard and hold chaises so you need to plan ahead on your sea days to guarantee a central and sunny spot.

 

The food onboard was quite good. The dining rooms entrees were adequate and the service was very good for the freestyle format. The soups were hot and the entrees were well presented. The lobster tails night was a big hit, and I think everyone enjoyed it. The buffet area is spacious and the food selection is good at all hours. As with many buffet formats, sometimes its hot and sometimes its not. The coffee is excellent, but their dessert cakes and pies always seemed to be a cup short of sugar. Appearance is an A+ but taste falls flat.

 

The specialty restaurants were good, with Maxim's (Steak House) being the leader. Unfortunately the second time we went there, it was not as good as it had been before.

 

The ports of call present a variety of experiences. Tortola is a wealthy island with celebrity name landowners, and Granada is exceptionally poor, with hurricane damage constantly present. Their major spice crop was wiped out and will take ten years to cultivate. Antigua, St Lucia and Barbados were very nice, and we were fortunate to have excellent weather (March 4 to 13).

 

Okay, so here is the one thing that really annoyed me. The bartenders are totally inconsistent! I drink a very dry vodka martini in the evening. If we were in a dining room, it was awful. If we were in a specialty restaurant it was better, but the size of the drink varied, and if we were in the forward lounge (Galaxy) it was fair. Between taste and size, it is a shame you just can't bring your own onboard so you can enjoy it the way you want, but that is another thread!

 

Happy cruising.

 

(again, I am really interested in others comments regarding Ricky Matthews, the present CD on the Spirit.)

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we were on the spirit the week before you. you are right, ricky sucked big time. never saw him between shows. no interaction with passengers except the pretty young boy who accompanied him on a public ncl excursion. what is NCL thinking?

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totally agree with you about Ricky. He was bad, not funny at all. Almost like he was trying too hard and not succeeding. My DH used to work for NCL and he agreed. What was NCL thinking making this guy a CD!

 

Didn't detract from the wonderful time on the cruise, tho. The Spirit is a lovely ship. The food was delicious.

 

As for the Martini's, you had to ask if you wanted the "big" one, 10 oz glass, otherwise it would vary from standard size martini glass or 10 oz. We found a few bardenders who would make a good one, so we would visit their bar, get our cocktail and take it where we wanted to go. Best martini's in the Galaxy and Champagne lounges.

 

Happy cruising, Kathy

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Did you have a good time overall? Did you do a meet & greet? If yes, how was it?

 

Did you go to the casino? Win or donate???

 

Were there lots of kids on board? Were they well behaved?

 

What shows should we see/what shows should we avoid? Did you get/buy/find any good deals on any of the Islands?

 

Thanks for the update....and welcome back...

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yes, he is a bald, skinny black man from jamaica who wore skin tight t-shirts to accentuate his spindly body.

 

i had a good time overall on the cruise. the food was way down from ncl's standards on other ships. the entertainment--ricky included--was a joke. plus we had 7 oout of 9 days of rain and cloudy weather.

 

the ship is beautiful. the service was just so-so in both the cabins and dining rooms. there was largely a midwestern and southern crowd on board. no one got dressed up at all.

 

when the spirit starts sailing from ny they had better get their act together.

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He was our CD on our first cruise on the Dawn. Being my first cruise, I had no idea what a CD actually did. After reading all the postings on Colin I have come to realize that he did nothing to enhance the entertainment or our enjoyment of the cruise. We barely ever saw him. This didn't take away from our cruise by any means, but it will be very interesting to see what the difference is on our next cruise with a different CD.

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Elaine and others:

 

We had an excellent time overall. All the elements for any good cruise were right there, good ports, good food, friendly staff and good travel partners. We did win in the casino at the slots. That however, was later in the cruise, toward the seventh day.

 

We were in a balcony stateroom on deck 10, which is also the kidszone, aft. There were not many kids onboard for our cruise. The five day cruise that preceded ours did have some problems with spring breakers, and there was damage to the ship. The Captain did comment about it twice. We also heard that some of the breakers were not admitted back on in some ports and their luggage was left at the pier. Several others were turned over to American authorities in Miami. In total, I heard that about 20 teens were involved.

 

The new NCL Production company presents two show nights, neither of which was much to mention. I miss the Ryan Company, as their shows were far superior. I get the feeling they're (NCL) is trying to attract a younger crowd (that doesn't rip sinks off the walls) with these new rock and roll medley shows. Overall, the shows were a D+ with an energetic cast and a weak format. The comedian (Dave Heenan) was good, and appears all over the ship (theater and lounges) on many different nights. The male solo singer was very good, in the style of Al Jarreau. The magician does two nights, the first one I heard was better than the second one, which we saw.

 

We did shop in Antigua and as usual found that you could pretty much find anything on the internet for less than you paid out of the country, excluding liquor. We bought a lead crystal object d'art and paid $210. A Google search showed it on mail order for $140 and $30 for shipping. (It's the memory that counts.)

 

Overall, I have found that if you go with the flow, and don't let the small things upset you, you're guaranteed to have a great time. Fortunately, we disembarked on Sunday, and returned to our (new) home in Palm Beach. For years we had to fly back to New Jersey and deal with the few remaining months of winter.

 

((PS: I didn't realize that the day you arrive back in Miami, you're actually on the ship until at least 1 PM. They serve a full breakfast and lunch, and the pools and hot tubs are open. The luggage comes off anytime after 12 PM, so trying to get off early, with the first Americans called, is useless since you're bags aren't there yet. On all our past cruises, the ship was back in the home port when we awoke the morning of disembarkation, and the luggage was already pierside.))

 

And yes NCL: Ricky Matthews is awful.

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I remember Ricky from my 3-day Majesty cruise back in 2003. That was my 1st cruise so I really didn't know what to expect, but now that I compare him to others in the NCL fleet, he is bad.

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Do not get Ricky confused with Kevin. We had Kevin on the Sea to Bermuda last year and he was one of the best cd's we have ever had on any line. Then we went on the Star on a repositioning from Alaska to LA. Ricky was absolutely the worst CD we have ever had. He is a nice enough fellow, but he tries too hard to be funny and he just is not. He may be a good director for his staff, but from a passenger point of view he was not well liked.

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We had Ricky on the Dawn ...

 

It was my first cruise... so... I don't really know what a "good" cruise director would be like...

 

You are correct in that, he wasn't funny... sorta annoying in fact...

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:cool: Is there a place on the comment cards for CD? Hope if there is, you all filled them out so NCL knows how much people dislike him....

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:cool: Is there a place on the comment cards for CD? Hope if there is, you all filled them out so NCL knows how much people dislike him....

 

Absolutely I filled this out on my comment card. I think you should speak up when you are on the ship. We wrote that Ricky was the worst CD we had ever experienced. I am kind of surprised with all the comments on just how many ships and how long this dude has been a CD. He was so bad I thought, wrongly so, that he was brand new and perhaps just getting his feet wet. Shame on NCL for keeping Ricky in a position like this.

 

Kathy

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Ricky was our cruise director last March on our first cruise on the Dawn. DH thought he was extremely annoying. But DH would disagree with the fact that he was not visable...he seemed to be everywhere trying to be funny and constantly making announcement on the loud speaker.

 

I can't wait for our next cruise on the Dawn in May, to see what a good cruise director will be like.

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We sailed the Spirit in December, and though I can't remember the name of the CD it wasn't the gentleman to whom you are referring. He was GREAT! In fact, I've never really paid much attention to the CD, but this one was so great that both my husband and I commented on it several times. Funny, congenial, and always interacting with the guests.

 

I do know that he was engaged to the woman who was the director of the fitness activities on the ship.

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Geeeees...We just got off the Spirit on June 18th and we loved Ricky !He was so vibrant and energetic!The kids loved him and I did see him walking around the ship a few times.Maybe because this is only my second cruise and my kids first but we thought he was great.Maybe somone spoke to him about getting bad reviews.lol

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I was on the June 11 sailing and I did not like Ricky. Although after having Colin Kerr on the Dawn last year I think almost anyone would have suck in comparison.

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I could not care less about the CD...

 

He or she does not make or break my cruise experience....

 

What's the Fuss all about??

 

I care more about the "timing" between the Waiter and Busboy in the dining Room.........

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We have had Ricky in the past and agree he was a little too much. I also am surprised how long he has lasted. Most comments are negative, but he also has a few fans who raved about his energy. One Man's meat is another man's poison!

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I would have to agree with most on this thread- I've suffered through several cruises with "Ricky" on the Dawn- Each time we wrote on our comment cards just how bad we thought he was-- Simon on the Crown was very good on the other hand. I never had the pleasure of having Colin as a CD- almost all say he is great.

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I was on the June 11 sailing and I did not like Ricky. Although after having Colin Kerr on the Dawn last year I think almost anyone would have suck in comparison.

 

 

I agree about Colin he was the best. No one will ever be as good as he is/was.

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