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Azure Moon

NCL Spirit July 10-17, 2011

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I haven't submitted many reviews of our cruises, but I did write up this trip and turned it in for the review section. Since I had it saved to pages (so it wouldn't be lost in a timing out situation while sending it in for review), I thought I'd go ahead and copy it here as well.

 

 

Background:

 

There were 9 of us sailing together. 7 were sailing on NCL for the first time. For 3, it was their first cruise. It was the 5th NCL cruise for hubby and me.

 

Pre-cruise: Hotel, Dining, Sightseeing

 

We all stayed one night pre-cruise at the Hampton Inn French Quarter/Downtown area - 226 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 http://www.hamptoninn.com/en/hp/hotels/services.jhtml?ctyhocn=MSYDTHX . The hotel was conveniently located near the street cars on Canal Street - one even runs right in front of the hotel, Bourbon Street, dining, a CVS, a Walgreens, Arby’s (enjoyed their very good iced tea on a very hot day!) and other shopping. We popped into CVS a couple of times for supplies - batteries, water, pop, etc.

 

The hotel staff was friendly and extremely helpful. They actually saved the vacation of one of our members who had accidentally dropped her passport in the car before flying to New Orleans. Being a Saturday and the cruise boarding the next day, and many businesses being closed on Sunday, for a while it seemed her fate was sealed, but the ladies working the check-in desk really came to the rescue by suggesting the possibility of airline cargo service being able to help. So, with the help of the hotel staff, a family member of one of our group getting the passport out of the car, to the airport, the departure city’s airline’s cargo department, and the airline in New Orleans, the lady was able to get the passport in time for boarding. awesome job by all, THANK YOU!!!

 

In addition to the help provided above, a lady at the check-in desk provided an area map, asked us what we’d like to see and do, made suggestions, and marked the map so we could find all of the interests. I hadn’t thought to ask about this, but saw her doing this for another group who was checking in. Very nice of them to do this for their guests. Helped us make better use of our limited time in a new-to-us city. No getting lost going to dining and attractions and helped us find our way back to the hotel. Cool!

 

The hotel offers luggage storage before check-in and after checking out. This came in handy and we sure appreciate Hampton doing this. Our group was able to sightsee and pick up last minute items before heading to the ship, thanks to this courtesy. Cool!

 

Our room was clean with a couple minor blips - bathroom needed a smidge of attention, which I took care of, and the shower stall could use a touch of either deep cleaning or refreshening of grout at the lower area, but a few squirts of Lysol spray - which I do in any hotel, cruise ship, etc, anyway, so no big deal. The brand new flat screen television was terrific, the lap desk a first for me to see in a hotel, plenty of lighting, a mini refrigerator, safe, table space, and wonderful bed and bedding made our stay comfortable. The common areas of the hotel were clean, well maintained, and comfortable. We liked that the elevators required a room key in order to get to upper floors for security reasons. The complementary hot breakfast in the morning was voted by our group as the best we’ve ever had at a hotel!

 

Hubby and I ate lunch at Deanie’s Seafood French Quarter 841 Iberville Street, New Orleans, LA 70112 http://www.deanies.com/restaurants/ . Hubby had the Combo Dinner of shrimp, oysters, and catfish. I had the Crab Quartet of crabmeat au gratin, stuffed crab, fried soft shell crab and fried crab claws. Both dishes came with french fries and coleslaw. We were served four seasoned medium-sized red potatoes just after ordering our meals. We hadn’t ordered the potatoes, so we decided it may be the equivalent restaurants back home serving bread or peanuts. There was way too much food and we couldn’t finish it, but we sure tried since it was SO delicious. We’d happily eat at Deanie’s again.

 

Our group ate dinner at a restaurant on Bourbon street that had been featured on Guy Fieri’s television show Drive-ins, Diners and Dives. The Old Coffeepot Restaurant at 714 St. Peter Street in the French Quarter http://www.letseat.at/theoldcoffeepot . Our favorite dish was the Southern Style Baby Back Ribs. Delicious!

 

After dinner, while walking in Jackson Square, I saw some tours getting ready to start - Haunted History Tours http://www.hauntedhistorytours.com/ . I’d always wanted to take a tour in N.O. but didn’t think one would be possible on this trip, so I was ecstatic running across this. I quickly found out that the tour only cost $20 per person and ran 1 1/2 to 2 hours (with a stop at a bar to use the rest room and get something to drink). I ran over to my group to see if any of them wanted to go on the tour. My nephew definitely wanted to go, so he and I were going to join the tour. His mother, my sister decided to join us. The rest of the group declined and walked around the Quarter before heading back to the hotel. Sis, nephew, and I LOVED the vampire tour! It was definitely a great way to see and learn about the area. The guide did a fabulous job of imparting information in an interesting fashion. The three of us wish the tour had been longer since it was so interesting and fun. Also wish the rest of our gang had joined in. The next day, after hearing how much we enjoyed the tour, they wish they had joined us too! I’m jumping ahead, but hubby and I got to spend the better part of the day in N.O. once we debarked the cruise. We ran across a tour office near the Square (not the Grayline tour offices, the Grayline tour we would have been interested in didn’t fit with our time constraints). One of the tour companies you could book there was Haunted History Tours. Unfortunately, the tours we would have liked didn’t fit our time constraints, either :(. There will have to be another trip to the wonderful city of New Orleans :). I definitely want to take a couple more H.H.T. tours.

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Embarkation

 

Easy peasy! We hired a couple vans to shuttle us to the port. Our driver told us we arrived at the right time - after the early crush of arrivals and before the late comers. Yes! I love when that happens. We sailed :p through check in --- so fast and so exciting that I forgot my purse at the security screening area! My sister noticed it but didn’t recognize it as mine until she picked it up - yep, heavy as a brick, that’s got to be my sister’s, she thought, correctly (rolling eyes). She brought it to me laughing. Hubby got a kick out of it as well. Well, I told him I was excited about getting the sail and sign card, not my fault he didn’t believe me until there was proof.

 

The Ship:

 

Pretty, clean, well maintained but needing a touch of smidge of patching on the ceiling of one of the outdoor tiered seating areas aft. All dining rooms, lounges, theater, etc. were comfortable.

 

Our cabin was one that was laid out sideways. We loved the arrangement of the room. Hubby loved that we didn’t have to enter the room between the closet and bathroom doorway. The cabin was clean, though I did find that either the books/directories that stay in the cabin each cruise or the desk/vanity had a smoke odor. I piled the directories/books to one side and cleaned the table surface. It seemed to help. I didn’t care for the several cigarette burn marks on the bathroom counter. The counter was clean, but it looks terrible when people do that with their cigarettes. Yuk! The bed was a little harder than I like, the sheets were nice and soft this time - just the way I like them. The pillows were great. Didn’t like that there was only one night stand. We both wear eyeglasses and read in bed, so a second nightstand would have been nice, but they had an armchair on one side of the bed. I didn’t care for that being right next to my face, so I moved that to another area. I ended up using a suitcase as a nightstand.

 

Employees were friendly and fun. Service was terrific. Only blip we had was one night in Windows main dining room service could have been a bit faster, but a manager must have noticed because someone else came to help with our table.

 

Food was very good overall - some things out-of-this-world, some pretty good, and some okay. Our group seemed happy with the food. The only complaint from one or more of our group was the buffet food wasn’t hot enough.

 

 

Bar drinks. I was disappointed with my Strawberry Daiquiris, Pina Coladas, and Miami Vices. They were okay, but didn’t seem like they had much alcohol in them. I quit ordering them. I tried other drinks, which were fine, but missed my S.D., P.C. and M. V.s.

 

Kid's Club. The 13 year old in our group went to the kid's club the first time they were to meet, but he didn't opt to join in their activities, preferring instead to hang out with us - his family of Mom, Step Dad, Aunts, Uncles, and honorary Grandma. Fine by us!

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Entertainment appreciation varied. Some of us loved it, some thought it could be a bit better. For instance, some of us (the teenager, some of us middle-aged, and a couple slightly over middle-aged) really liked the comedian, while a couple of us, middle-aged, thought he wasn’t funny. So, I thought the comedian did a great job of appealing to a wide range of audience. Some of us who liked the comedian liked Bob Hope, Bob Newhart, etc., so we appreciated that he had clean shows - without cussing, dirty content. Very refreshing!

 

Some of us liked the arial act and some not so much, but did appreciate the amazing shape the pair was in to be able to do the moves they did.

 

The production numbers got most of us in agreement. They were good. Elements kind of threw us a curve ball because it was unexpected/different, but it still entertained us.

 

The bands Flex and Prism provided great music to listen and dance to. The singing duo Arvin and Emily were terrific.

 

The only thumbs down I have for entertainment was the lack of piano playing throughout the week. I heard some playing, but it didn’t come close to the amount I heard on the Dawn. I LOVED the amount of piano playing on both of my Dawn cruises - in the main dining room and at various venues on the Dawn, sometimes it seemed like I’d move through the ship and go from one piano player playing into another area where another piano player was playing. I sure missed that on this cruise. :( One night on Dawn we got to hear a piano play in the aft dining room and on another night the player had finished but set a box to play recorded piano music. There was a piano in Windows main dining room on Spirit, but we never lucked into being in there when an entertainer played. One night we ate early, another mid session, so I’d have thought we’d “hit” the right playing time. Maybe we missed the days when the piano was played because we dined in Garden and buffet a few times too. I didn’t see/hear the piano in the atrium played, though I’m sure it probably was, I just missed when it was :(.

 

I don’t do it every cruise, but this sailing became one of my Bingo/Instant win ticket/Raffle cruises. Passed out some of the Instant Win tickets to some of our group while waiting for theater entertainment to begin. We won a couple of $1 instant wins and a $5 instant win. The lady who won the $5 turned it into more when she cashed it in in the Casino. Cool! Hubby and I played slots in the casino. We won some and lost it. A couple of our traveling companions won a little bit on the slots. Cool!

 

We attended most of the theater entertainment (production shows, magic, arial, comedy, Second City), Galaxy of the Stars entertainment (parties, music, bingo), a couple in our group enjoyed the pub crawls, and the pool.

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Ports:

Costa Maya - We went to Chaccoben Mayan Ruins then got something to eat and shopped. Nice day.

Roatan - Took a Victor Bodden tour of the island, some of us zip lined, we toured the monkey, animal, and bird area on his property, got something to eat, swam/snorkeled, and shopped. Lol, hubby and I had been the only 2 of our group of 9 who had been to Roatan before. We hadn’t been on the island long before some of the others began to talk of going in together and buying a house or condo to share :D They better be careful, we just might go for that! Great day.

Belize - Several members of the group took a tour to Goff’s Caye. They loved it! The rest of us took the tour to Lamanai. We loved it! Back in Belize City, we shopped before returning to the ship. Belize won some more fans :). This was hubby’s and my third time in Belize and we still love it and can’t wait to go back. Great day!

Cozumel - We went to Mr. Sancho’s beach resort. Originally we thought we’d do it ala carte, but changed our minds and did the all inclusive (which really isn’t, because you have to pay an extra $12 or $14 to play on the water climbing features). That disappointed the teenager in our group, but he quickly got over it when his mother, and an uncle took him parasailing, then afterward, with the addition of one aunt, the four of them took a ride on a banana boat. The parasailing and banana boat ride became the favorite activity of the week for the four of them. Did some shopping before returning to the ship. Great day.

 

Future Cruise Certificate:

 

A couple sailing with us (their first cruise) purchased a future cruise certificate and hubby and I purchased two. Now we'll have fun trying to decide where to travel next.

 

Disembarkation:

 

Easy peasy, just like embarkation was! Hubby and I carried our luggage off. Since he and I were going to catch a late flight (evening), we decided to use a service available right as you leave the port interior. There are stands, taxis, etc. right outside. One of the ladies working inside the port, when we asked about luggage storage services, took us over to a woman who walked us to the stand for a company called Rush It courier service. The price was reasonable (something like $25, I think) and they said that we could have a van pick us up and take us to the airport. We arranged to meet the van in front of/near Cafe du Monde by Jackson Square in the French Quarter at 4 pm. With the luggage and arrangements for shuttle service to the airport taken care of, hubby and I walked from the port to Canal Street where we got on our first streetcar. We ended up riding a couple of streetcars and got to see some of the Garden District. Then we went to Cafe du Monde for our first real beignets (made at home in the Midwest just isn't the same ;D). It rained a little while we ate. Afterwards we looked into taking a tour. Nothing seemed to fit our time schedule, so we walked over to the museum next to the cathedral across from Jackson Square Park. The museum had exhibits about Katrina and Mardi Gras. Both interesting to learn more about. Spent a lot of time here. While inside it poured rain outside. It was still pouring when we left, so we made our way back to Cafe du Monde for another round. Afterwards it was time for the shuttle to pick us up, and it did.

 

Airport and flying back home.

 

Ate dinner at Acme Oyster House in the airport. Pretty good food, would love to try the location in the French Quarter when/if we are lucky enough to get back to New Orleans again.

 

Flight out of New Orleans was on time and went smoothly.

 

Loved sailing NCL Spirit, staying in and sightseeing New Orleans, and seeing the western Caribbean again.

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Can't promise that I'll know the answer, but if anyone has any questions about the restaurants, entertainment, tours, etc. I'll sure try to answer them. :)

Edited by Azure Moon

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thanks for the posting; As for the 13 year old, it seems like the teen program depends on the personality of the teen involved. Most of the kids regardless of age really enjoy hanging out with the other kids (not the organized activities so much) but there are those who are just as content being with their family members and there are enough activities plus 4 ports to keep most kids busy without a teen program. Again, it does depend on the child.

 

Nita

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I agree, Nita, there are a lot of variables.

 

My nephew did attend the first get together but thought that the other kids were kind of formed into groups already. Who knows, maybe the ones who were there were traveling together, or had already met on board???

 

It's all good.

 

He was willing to give it a shot, and he did, which is all we could have hoped for. We were just as happy to have him spend his time with us, and he sure had a good time! Yep, I'm a greedy long-distance aunt who got a kick out of spending time and showing off my love for cruising and NCL to him and the rest of his family, and I got such a kick out of being able to see his enjoyment of the food, entertainment, watching the water go by, etc. Wouldn't have had as much chance to do those things had he not been with us.

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Thanks for the review, we're looking forward to the Spirit on Aug 21! Did you book your excursions before the trip, on board or just figure it out when you got off the ship? We're trying to figure out what to do and I hate to have every minute pre-planned, although I need to be completely informed and with lots of notes about trip ideas and hints.

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Thanks for the review, we're looking forward to the Spirit on Aug 21! Did you book your excursions before the trip, on board or just figure it out when you got off the ship? We're trying to figure out what to do and I hate to have every minute pre-planned, although I need to be completely informed and with lots of notes about trip ideas and hints.

 

Hi, GamblingMommy.

 

We booked the Costa Maya (Chacchoben) and Roatan (private island tour/Best of Roatan) excursions ahead of time (around 3 months before cruise) from home.

 

We E-mailed Native Choice http://www.thenativechoice.com/to do the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins 4 hour tour. We did the shorter excursion so we had time do some other things, too, since this was our first time to Costa Maya. Hubby and I enjoyed it.

 

We E-mailed Victor Bodden http://www.boddentours.com/bestofroatan.htm to do the Best of Island tour. We chose to see the monkeys (even the 2 of us who aren't crazy about monkeys enjoyed watching the others interact with the animals), zip line (3 members of our group, who loved it!), shopped, ate, swam/snorkeled, drove around the island and learned about it from the guide (who was fantastic, by the way :):cool:). With this tour you can choose any amount of activities and have the freedom to add or delete activities, shorten or lengthen the amount of time you spend on an activity. We loved this excursion.

 

In Belize we were going to try booking privately Caye Caulker and Shark Ray Alley tour with Coral Breeze http://www.coralbreezetours.com/, but was unable to because a note on their website said they couldn't accommodate NCL Spirit cruisers on the date we would be there. So hubby and I booked the Ambergris Caye and Shark Ray Alley through NCL's website (on our booking), but later we were notified that NCL cancelled the excursion. Read that on Cruise Critic, too. So we ended up booking the Lamanai Mayan Ruin tour while on board the ship. All but 3 of our group did the same. Those 3 booked booked an NCL excursion to do Goff's Caye beach day at the pier day of the excursion. We all loved our excursions.

 

Cozumel we thought about booking Mr. Sancho's beach resort http://www.mrsanchos.com/all-inclusive ahead of time, then decided to just show up at Mr. Sancho's the day we'd be there and do it ala carte. It took 3 taxis ($17 per taxi) to get us all to Mr. Sancho's and once there, looked at the list of amenities, etc., we all chose to pay for all-inclusive. We thought it worked out well and was worth it. We got 3 cabanas, tables, chairs, food, and drinks. One thing we were disappointed about is that you have to pay extra (iirc, $12) per person to use the in-water inflatable climbing toys. We chose not to use them. Worked out well that we didn't, because 3 of the group decided to pay to do parasailing, and then the 3 plus another one paid to take a bananaboat ride. Those two activities took a big chunk of time, what with waiting for their turn and doing the activities. They loved it, so was well worth the time and cost. We took a van and a taxi to get our group back to the port. Did some shopping then got back on the ship.

 

Lol, sorry about the confusion on the Belize and Cozumel excursions, but that's kind of how the months went leading up to those stops :rolleyes::D. Luckily it all worked out even with making choices at the last minute. We all enjoyed what we ended up doing, and thankfully we able to sign up for things of interest. We were really surprised Lamanai wasn't sold out ahead of time. It was hubby's and my second time there and loved it as much as the first time.

 

Hope this helped, and if I can answer anything else, please ask.

 

You'll love the Spirit and the western Caribbean!

 

A.M.

 

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Hey gambling mommy...have you ventured over to the roll call? We are also on that cruise with a lively group!

 

Thanks Azure for all the info...I was trying to find info on what do with luggage as we have a late flight,too. Good to know it's easy to find and not too expensive.

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Thanks for the great review. We have another 48 days to go and I can't get enough of the reviews.

 

Do you know if the comedian and the couple that does acrobats only play on certain nights? Or is it a nightly thing? Do you have to make reservations?

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Thanks for the great review. We have another 48 days to go and I can't get enough of the reviews.

 

Do you know if the comedian and the couple that does acrobats only play on certain nights? Or is it a nightly thing? Do you have to make reservations?

 

Can't speak to the comedian since they rotate those around. They typically participate in the welcome aboard show and then sometimes split another show with someone else during the week. Often they will do a "late night" show as well. It definitely varies with the comedians.

 

The Russian acrobat hubby, wife and child team seem to be a fixture on the Spirit.

They will do one full show and then appear again in participating in the big Elements show later in the week.

They are both super nice so if you run into them on the ship be sure and say “hi”.

 

You will never need reservations, nor do they take them, for any of the shows.

You guys are getting closer!

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Can't speak to the comedian since they rotate those around. They typically participate in the welcome aboard show and then sometimes split another show with someone else during the week. Often they will do a "late night" show as well. It definitely varies with the comedians.

 

The Russian acrobat hubby, wife and child team seem to be a fixture on the Spirit.

They will do one full show and then appear again in participating in the big Elements show later in the week.

They are both super nice so if you run into them on the ship be sure and say “hi”.

 

You will never need reservations, nor do they take them, for any of the shows.

 

You guys are getting closer!

 

So if they don't take reservations for the shows and it sounds like they are only doing "their" complete show just once during the week, is the place they do it at really huge and big enough to accommodate everyone? I mean what if everyone on the ship wanted to see the show? Not likely, but just saying.

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So if they don't take reservations for the shows and it sounds like they are only doing "their" complete show just once during the week, is the place they do it at really huge and big enough to accommodate everyone? I mean what if everyone on the ship wanted to see the show? Not likely, but just saying.

 

I am assuming you are talking about the Russian acrobat couple. Of course the same basic guidelines apply to the comedy shows.

 

They perform in the main theater Stardust Lounge. I wouldn't say it is huge but it isn't small either. They do an early show and a late show. I saw their show each time I was on the Spirit this year and never had trouble getting a seat. I always went to the late show and typically got there about 15 minutes prior.

 

I am not saying the shows weren't well attended but you are just dealing with a lot less people than you experienced on the Epic. That is one of the many things I love about the Spirit is there are just fewer people than on the larger ships I have sailed.

 

Outside of the specialty restaurants you just don't have to worry about reservations for stuff.

Just relax and show up for stuff. ;)

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Yes, the Russian couple.

 

How long does the show last? I'm wondering if this would be something we could take our 3 1/2 yr old to and her be interested enough in for the entire time or not.

 

So is this Stardust lounge have huge ceilings or something? Just wondering how you would view their show if they are at the same level doing acrobats.

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Yes, the Russian couple.

 

How long does the show last? I'm wondering if this would be something we could take our 3 1/2 yr old to and her be interested enough in for the entire time or not.

 

So is this Stardust lounge have huge ceilings or something? Just wondering how you would view their show if they are at the same level doing acrobats.

 

I would think your daughter would really enjoy the show. It isn't overly long. I am thinking maybe 40-45 minutes.

 

Their little boy was a cutie. I am thinking he is in the same age range as your daughter. He has little "bit" he does in the show with his dad.

 

The theater seems to be the standard design I see on most cruise ships. There was plenty of room for them to do their thing on the stage including the flying around stuff.

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I would think your daughter would really enjoy the show. It isn't overly long. I am thinking maybe 40-45 minutes.

 

Their little boy was a cutie. I am thinking he is in the same age range as your daughter. He has little "bit" he does in the show with his dad.

 

The theater seems to be the standard design I see on most cruise ships. There was plenty of room for them to do their thing on the stage including the flying around stuff.

 

That's great to know. I'm sure it will keep her occupied long enough then...especially if there is a little boy doing stuff in it. She will think that is neat. Thanks for the answers. I appreciate it.

 

 

Getting VERY excited! :D

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Thanks for the review, we're looking forward to the Spirit on Aug 21! Did you book your excursions before the trip, on board or just figure it out when you got off the ship? We're trying to figure out what to do and I hate to have every minute pre-planned, although I need to be completely informed and with lots of notes about trip ideas and hints.

 

Just off the Spirit July 17-24, loved the cruise. We tend to book our excursions pretty far in advance. I've never tried to book them while on the cruise, and would be worried that the ones I wanted would already be full.

 

When we're cruising by ourselves (just DW and I), we tend to do less in the way of organized excursions because we don't like having every minute planned, and are on board more for relaxation than anything else.

 

However, this cruise was with DW's son & his wife & daughter, so we did a lot more in the way of excursions for them. Here's our rundown from the cruise:

 

Costa Maya: Been there many times, usually don't even get off the ship. This time SIL & DIL did the Sea Trek Snuba, while DW & grand daughter wandered the shops and had a day together on board. SIL/DIL thought SNUBA was ok, but not high on their list of things to go back to.

 

Roatan: We've been to Tabyana beach before, and love the snorkeling right off the beach. Did the Tabyana beach break as before, and DIL/SIL and 9 year old grand daughter were wowed by the snorkeling!

 

Belize: SIL & DIL went off to do Lamanai ruins. They thought the ruins were fantastic, but decided they'd never do them again in the summer due to bugs and heat. River ride and lunch for them was great. DW & Grand daughter had a girls day in on the ship, with spa visits. I did the NCL Snorkel and Beach break. Snorkeling was fantastic...45 minutes in the water at a beautiful reef...would gladly have stayed much longer. Beach Break was at the privately owned Bannister Island. I really wasn't there for that, although I could see it would be a nice place to spend the day if you wanted a lazy private beach experience.

 

Cozumel: DIL/SIL & 9 year old went on the Atlantis submarine in the morning, and loved it. We all went to Dolphinarius for the Dolphin encounter and swim with the dolphins in the afternoon. I was dubious, but ended up being a convert. Lots of close up interaction with the dolphins, good info from the trainers, and a fun dolphin ride at the end...everyone loved it, and the 9 year old was beaming smiles all the rest of the day.

 

Hope that gives you some ideas and some help!

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Lots of close up interaction with the dolphins, good info from the trainers, and a fun dolphin ride at the end...everyone loved it, and the 9 year old was beaming smiles all the rest of the day.

 

 

This is what I'm hoping for with my 3 1/2 year old. We will be doing the dolphin encounter (since she is so young) but I can't wait to see the look on her face. She loves dolphins. It will probably be the highlight of her cruise. (It better be since it cost so darn much LOL :D)

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Can't promise that I'll know the answer, but if anyone has any questions about the restaurants, entertainment, tours, etc. I'll sure try to answer them. :)

 

Did by any chance did you eat in the Tempanyaki restaurant?

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Did by any chance did you eat in the Tempanyaki restaurant?

 

I would like to know this as well. This is the only restaurant we had booked last year and didn't make it to and it's my favorite type of restaurant here at home. We only go maybe once a year for special occasions.

 

Would love to know if they are any good and how the "show" is if you went.

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annpharm, bdann, and mitsugirly, it was my pleasure. :)

 

dasmonkey, the acrobat couple we had on our sailing was called Duo Volgyi, was this the same couple you saw? He is from Russia and she from the United States. If this is the same couple, I wholeheartedly agree with you that mitsugirly and her daughter will enjoy them.

 

VideoTech, I'm glad to see you had a good time the week after us! Oh, how I wish I could have stayed on board for that week :D. Hubby and I love Tabyana and Lamanai too. Been to Tabyana twice and swear a piece of my heart was left there because during this trip to Roatan, it felt a tiny bit weird not to be going there. Glad to see your family loved the dolphins :cool:. I'll have to keep that in mind if we get back to Cozumel.

 

 

45014 and mitsugirly, no one in our group dined at Teppanyaki. I think my husband said something about there being only one table in the Teppanyaki restaurant on Spirit. I did glance at the Teppanyaki line on the restaurant boards that show green, yellow, or red for how much traffic is in each of the dining venues. There were openings at times, but pretty much the board showed red for T. the entire week. So, if it's possible, and you know when you'd like to eat there, make reservations as soon as possible.

 

Maybe someone who's dined at T. on Spirit can add to this, or correct it if wrong.

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Azure, sounds like you had a great trip! we are leaving in 20 days :o)

I was wondering if you could tell me how much the van back to the airport was? Did you book it when you dropped the luggage off at the storage place? I think I am going to use that place also. Was it easy to find your luggage once at the airport?

 

thanks,

Trish

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45014 and mitsugirly, no one in our group dined at Teppanyaki. I think my husband said something about there being only one table in the Teppanyaki restaurant on Spirit. I did glance at the Teppanyaki line on the restaurant boards that show green, yellow, or red for how much traffic is in each of the dining venues. There were openings at times, but pretty much the board showed red for T. the entire week. So, if it's possible, and you know when you'd like to eat there, make reservations as soon as possible.

 

 

Thanks. I'll make sure we book asap upon getting on the ship.

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Did by any chance did you eat in the Tempanyaki restaurant?

 

We ate in the Teppanyaki on the Spirit on our cruise two weeks ago. There is only one table/grill, which seats 12 if I recall correctly.

 

The presentation was great; a good chef with a funny line of chatter and a good routine.

 

Food was only average, IMO. We've now eaten in three different Teppanyaki's on three different NCL ships, and in 2 of the three cases, the food was average, and in one it was terrible. We would not have booked the Teppanyaki on Spirit except that this was a first cruise for our 9 year old grand daughter, and she loves this sort of thing.

 

I guess I've just come to believe that Teppanyaki on NCL is more about the show (like the Cirque dinner on Epic) than about the food.

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We had two great meals on Epic at Teppanyaki. Had the same chef both times, and while not that great a show, the food was excellent!

 

We are on the Spirit next week and will definetly try Teppanyaki. With an 11-year-old, it's obligatory!

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Thank you both for you input. We were trying to decide if we wanted to take our daughter with us to eat there (3 1/2 yrs old) because we figured she would like this experience. However, not sure if she would want to sit there the entire time. She likes to sit, eat, go. No waiting. :o

 

She has been to one once before, however she was a lot younger and I'm sure she doesn't really remember it.

 

I guess we'll have to play it by ear when we get there. But I definitely don't want to miss out on it this time around.

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We ate in the Teppanyaki on the Spirit on our cruise two weeks ago. There is only one table/grill, which seats 12 if I recall correctly.

 

The presentation was great; a good chef with a funny line of chatter and a good routine.

 

Food was only average, IMO. We've now eaten in three different Teppanyaki's on three different NCL ships, and in 2 of the three cases, the food was average, and in one it was terrible. We would not have booked the Teppanyaki on Spirit except that this was a first cruise for our 9 year old grand daughter, and she loves this sort of thing.

 

I guess I've just come to believe that Teppanyaki on NCL is more about the show (like the Cirque dinner on Epic) than about the food.

 

Since this is basically fried rice, steak bits, chicken, shrimp, what exactly makes one example of this better or worse than another?

 

I have had this numerous times out in the "real world" but never on NCL.

 

I have just never seen much difference in any of these places.

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Since this is basically fried rice, steak bits, chicken, shrimp, what exactly makes one example of this better or worse than another?

 

I have had this numerous times out in the "real world" but never on NCL.

 

I have just never seen much difference in any of these places.

 

Well, like any other food, it can be tasty, amazing, indifferent, or tasteless. I'd rate NCL's as indifferent. Not bad, just average. We have a local Teppanyaki style eatery near where I live that does this kind of thing very well, and the food there always tastes better than it does at the Teppanyaki on NCL.

 

I'm sure you have a reason for preferring the food in one restaurant over another, don't you? What the food is, well, that's only part of the equation. I've had good steaks, excellent steaks, and bad steaks...but they're all steak, right?

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Thank you both for you input. We were trying to decide if we wanted to take our daughter with us to eat there (3 1/2 yrs old) because we figured she would like this experience. However, not sure if she would want to sit there the entire time. She likes to sit, eat, go. No waiting. :o

 

She has been to one once before, however she was a lot younger and I'm sure she doesn't really remember it.

 

I guess we'll have to play it by ear when we get there. But I definitely don't want to miss out on it this time around.

 

Most of the Teppanyaki chefs will play up to the children at the table, and that helps keep them entertained and happy. There's enough going on that you should be fine, although I will admit that it's been a long time since I had to manage a dinner with a 3.5 year old!

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Well, like any other food, it can be tasty, amazing, indifferent, or tasteless. I'd rate NCL's as indifferent. Not bad, just average. We have a local Teppanyaki style eatery near where I live that does this kind of thing very well, and the food there always tastes better than it does at the Teppanyaki on NCL.

 

I'm sure you have a reason for preferring the food in one restaurant over another, don't you? What the food is, well, that's only part of the equation. I've had good steaks, excellent steaks, and bad steaks...but they're all steak, right?

 

 

I have preferences in restaurants but hibachi grills tend to all run together.

I guess I have just been lucky and never had one of these that was bad or one that stood out more than another for that matter.

 

The differences have just been minimal at best. The preparation is essentially the same from place to place. Fried rice is pretty much fried rice, steak can of course vary but chicken is chicken and shrimp is shrimp.

I was just curious what the differentiation was for someone that found these places to vary.

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Azure, sounds like you had a great trip! we are leaving in 20 days :o)

I was wondering if you could tell me how much the van back to the airport was? Did you book it when you dropped the luggage off at the storage place? I think I am going to use that place also. Was it easy to find your luggage once at the airport?

 

thanks,

Trish

Hi udamom.

 

We sure did have a great time! Loved everything but the humidity...and smells of some of the sidewalks and streets. YIKES! :eek:.

 

Yes, we made shuttle arrangements during luggage drop off. The lady at the booth asked us if we wanted transportation to the airport and told us the price - $14 per person. Since a taxi would have cost us about the same price we went ahead and made shuttle arrangements. She asked us where we were going to be sightseeing, and we told her the Jackson Square area (Cafe du Monde is right across the street). She told us the two times that were available for pick-up and we chose the one that we wanted. She told us to pay the driver the $28 when he dropped us off at the airport. We gave him a tip then as well since he had arrived at the pick-up point promptly, drove in a safe manner, was friendly, dropped us at the door closest to the storage room and told us where to find it :cool:.

 

The driver picked up one or two other parties of Rush It customers at the same meeting place as us. It was nice listening to their discussions of their trips. Found out they'd been on the same cruise :cool:.

 

Easy peasy! :) We would use Rush It again.

 

New Orleans and the Spirit = you're going to have an AMAZING time!!!!!

 

Have a safe and wonderful time.

 

A.M.

 

Edited by Azure Moon

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FreeStyle Dailies From the NCL Spirit sailing July 10 - 17, 2011.

 

I don't have Day 1's daily. Picked up several for our group, but ended up one short. Doh! Click on each photo to enlarge it.

 

Day 2: th_a0c68742.jpg Day 2: th_eb3b82a8.jpg Day 2: th_ef743f6a.jpgDay 3: th_55f3571c.jpg Day 3: th_49de59a8.jpg

Day 4:th_f40195f1.jpg

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Thanks a LOT for your very informative review! I especially appreciated your comments on New Orleans and of course the daily pics of the "Freestyle Daily."

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Can't believe you did not mention Jose and Patti !! Hope you did not miss them--BEST--and most loved--entertainers on ANY NCL ship !! For all on here who are sailing Spirit soon--they are not to be missed...search them on these boards and you will see great reviews...

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chill 6x6, my pleasure :). It gave me a chance to learn how to scan (the Dailies) and post them...but I'm not going to say how long it took me to get it all figured out :eek::o:D.

 

You are going to LOVE New Orleans and the Spirit!!! I wish you a safe and happy trip.

Edited by Azure Moon

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Ericktina, I'm not sure if Jose and Patti were on our cruise :confused:.

 

Arvin and Emily were on our cruise.

 

Both couples are terrific. :cool:

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