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Spirit Review - 3/13/05 (Part 1)

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Let me start by saying that this was our 2nd cruise with NCL (1st was Christmas 2002 on the Majesty). After our first cruise, my now-husband mentioned that he wouldn't care to cruise again for quite some time - not that it was a horrible experience, just that he wasn't sure it was the right vacation for him. So when it came time for us to make plans for spring break this year, we had originally decided to go to Washington DC for a week (my DH is a huge history buff and could have spent all day every day in one museum or another). Lucky for me, over this past Christmas, I got the idea in my head that I would like to go on another cruise (it was probably all of those Carnival commercials bombarding me from the tv - "somewhere...beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me...my lover stands on golden sands...", or the 3 feet of snow outside). My husband humored me, we did some research, and ended up cancelling our DC trip and booking our room on the Spirit.


Another note of warning - I enjoy writing and tend to write more than is really necessary. So I warn everyone in advance that these could be some lengthy reviews! And not nearly as poetic as cruisinginMN's were (but my opinion of her's could be due to penthouse envy)!


My first word of advice - if you are cruising out of Miami and flying into Miami's airport (vs. Ft. Lauderdale), don't bother with the NCL shuttle. For $21 we walked out the door, got right into a taxi, and were at the pier in about 15 minutes. Total elapsed time from when we got off the plane - about 45 minutes. As a comparison, when we took the NCL shuttle last time, we stood outside and waited for the shuttle itself for at least an hour.


Embarkation - fairly simple and stress free. There was some miscommunication about where to drop off our luggage (and no one seemed to have any pens to fill out the luggage tags). The idea of using cash or travelers checks for our onboard purchases seemed to catch our check-in person off guard. I had issues with this gentleman anyway - he was constantly singing to himself, he had his personal phone earpiece in his ear (at one point, I asked him if he was listening to music, not knowing it was his phone, and he responded to me as if I were stupid for not knowing), and he barely spoke to us other than to ask several times for our credit card, which we told him we weren't using for our onboard account (when it came time to take our pictures, he didn't tell us that was what he was doing, just told us to look at him). Otherwise, this was pain free. The lines moved quickly, and we were on board and in our room within the hour.


After resting for a little bit, we headed up to the pool to check out the scene (and to find a much-anticipated hamburger for my husband!). We settled in at the Bier Garten, were immediately waited upon, and my husband enjoyed the one and only decent hamburger he would have on this trip. After walking around for a bit and exploring, we headed back to the pool for the BBQ. While it wasn't horrible, most of the food was somewhat cold, but a little BBQ sauce on top helped out.


We saw our room stewards at some point that afternoon (after laying down on the bed to find it as hard as sleeping on the floor) and asked for an egg carton pad. They had no clue what we were talking about, but told us they would put an extra duvet on the bed for us that evening - my husband thought it helped, I, on the other hand, did not. I don't think either of us slept very well the entire week.


I had read in the Freestyle Daily that returning Lattitudes members should have received a Welcome Aboard letter in their stateroom (which we had not) and that you should stop by the Reception Desk to update your status if you had not. We went to the desk, the woman there (supposedly) updated our account, handed us a general information letter listing some of the Lattitudes perks, and we were on our way.


I don't remember a whole lot about the first day as it was an early morning and long travel day, and I was exhausted. My husband may have something else to say about it, and I will leave that to him.

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:) I KNOW the feeling of the "NEED" to take a cruise, so I got a little "chuckle" out of your description of HOW you HAD to decide to go on another cruise.....

For me, it was last year in March when "Where in the World is Matt Laurer?" was on the Morning Show, on the last day of his world wide adventure he turned up on "Necker Island", when I saw the blue blue water, the white sand, the swaying Palm Trees, I said to my DH, "We ARE going to the Caribbean!!". For awhile I entertained the idea of renting a house on some island, then I realized that we would have to FLY, and I don't fly, so, the next best thing was A CRUISE!!! I planned it around my DD's school vacation, next month, on the Dawn, April 17th. I KNOW we WILL LOVE cruising, I even have a cruise booked for NEXT year, in February, to celebrate my 50th Birthday!! That too is on the Dawn.

Looking forward to reading your next installment, although, somehow I get the feeling it won't be a "glowing" review......:rolleyes:




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