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Quick Overview of NCL Spirit 7/24-7/31

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Just returned from the 7/24 sailing on the NCL Spirit. We are seasoned NCL (mostly) cruisers so I tend to make comparisons between ships but here it it.

 

We stayed at the Hilton Riverside pre cruise, compliments of Total Rewards via Harrah's. Very nice room in very nice hotel. We did not have time to use many of the hotels amenities because of other things we wanted to do. We made our way out to the cemeteries and also walked to the French Quarter. We had beignets at Cafe du Monde and enjoyed them but did not think they were any better than the ones we had at the Harrah's brunch buffet earlier in the day. We gambled at Harrah's at least 30 minutes Sat. and Sun. to get free parking at Harrah's garage (across street from Hilton) which otherwise would have cost us $60.00. My DH wanted a po boy so we at at Mother's that night and he said his roast beef, ham, turkey po boy was the best sandwich he ever had. I had a fried shrimp po boy and the famous bread pudding which was also delicious.

 

Sunday morning we ran into a bit of a car fiasco so we actually did not eat prior to boarding the ship about 12:30. We were able to get into our cabin right away (typical inside cabin but a bit larger than other ships and the bathroom was larger). We then went to Windows to eat (we were not discouraged by the staff from doing this, it was even being announced) for a nice lunch. We then proceeded to explore the ship. A few things needed updating but all in all the ship was in great shape. Comparison - friendliest staff we have ever had.

 

We did not attend the Sunday night welcoming show as we were exhausted. Spent a bit of time in the casino, had dinner at Windows and went to bed (beds super comfy).

 

Monday, a sea day, we spent some time on deck and in the pool. We took advantage of the fact it was just the two of us and managed to get a nap every afternoon. Hey, it is our vacation, and we can do as we want.

 

We went to most of the shows in the evenings and enjoyed them, particularly Elements and Second City. We went to the Second City Adult show and it was fun although I thought the Second City was a bit off from other cruises.

 

We ate most meals at Windows or The Garden, none at specialty restaurants. We are on a budget but like to cruise often so we tend not to spend on specialty restaurants or upgraded rooms (we only sleep there).

 

There are lots of knooks and crannies to enjoy on the Spirit. As far as excurisons, we only did the Beach Getaway at Costa Maya (just ok) and Tapanyga (sp) at Roatan. Tapanyga was a beautiful beach but we had been there before a knew that. I did break out with some kind of real itchy bumps after the beaches so I really do not know what they are. I still have them and the itch like crazy.

 

We enjoyed the food in the MDR's, found that there was always something we liked even if it was off the standard fare. We saw no form of lobster all week though. Service was wonderful in the MDR's. We hit the buffet a few times but we really are not buffet people. My DH loved the wings at Blue Lagoon and he snuck off there quite a few times.

 

I do enjoy the casino a great deal and spent quite a lot of time there. I did not come out ahead but not a lot behind so I consider that a win as it was good fun.

 

My one complaint was how little we saw the cruise director. I thought we attended a lot of activities, even the Casinos at Sea reception, and never even knew his name till mid week. I thought this was odd since on previous cruises we had seen the cruise director and his staff constantly.

 

The ship is still in great shape with a little bit of wear and tear here and there. You will have a great time on her, the ports are nice with lots of sun (watch out for that), activities are good. I will continue to cruise NCL but perhaps to a cooler climate in the future.

 

Embarkation was walk off, uneventful. We were in our car by 8:00 a.m. and on the road for our 12 hour drive home.

 

Questions, just ask. Be glad to help.

 

Riddle

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.....Tapanyga (sp) at Roatan. Tapanyga was a beautiful beach but we had been there before a knew that. I did break out with some kind of real itchy bumps after the beaches so I really do not know what they are. I still have them and the itch like crazy.....

 

Hi Riddle, we were on the same cruise and enjoyed it immensely. We also love Tabayana beach!

 

Those bites from Tabayana are some kind of little, almost invisible bug that lives in the sand at the beach. They get some people, not others...and they've never bothered us, so I guess we don't taste very good to them. They did get my son-in-law!

 

Bug spray is often recommended for people visiting Tabayana - I'd assume for other beaches at Roatan too. To my son-in-law's dismay, although we knew about them from previous visits, we'd forgotten about them as they don't bother us. Ooops!

 

Next trip, we'll remember the bug spray. That's about the only drawback to what is otherwise a beautiful beach, with amazing snorkeling right off the shore.

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We were on Spirit the week before you - lots of similar thoughts.

 

Was the cruise director "big Ken?" He was ours and we saw him a lot so I was wondering if he went on a vacation or something and had a sub? (Do they do that?) He was at every show we went to and we saw him lots. Just seems strange that the next week he would not be around much. Maybe I am even confusing who does what?

 

I found the beds to be extremely comfy also and had read some reviews that they were horrible!

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We saw no form of lobster all week though.

 

Bummer! :(

 

Been on the Spirit 3 times this year and they always had it the first night.

I wonder if this is going to be standard going forward or if it was a "one off" week due to supply issues or something.

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Glad you had a good time. We love those afternoon naps while cruising too!:):o

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Bummer! :(

 

Been on the Spirit 3 times this year and they always had it the first night.

I wonder if this is going to be standard going forward or if it was a "one off" week due to supply issues or something.

 

 

The week before (7/17-7/24) lobster was on the menu the first night. I didn't order it because I expected it on formal night too. Never saw it again. (which is OK - not a big fan). But now you know - if it's there, grab it fast, might be your only chance!

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Loved your review. I'm looking forward to our cruise about 40+ days. :D

 

Glad to hear the beds were comfy. I've read a lot of reviews on here that stated they are hard and very uncomfortable. (Although I have a tendency to be on the go all the time, I am so tired by the end of the day I could probably sleep on a rock).

 

I assume since you stated that you don't splurge on the extra restaurants or rooms, that you might have stayed in an inside cabin? Just wondering because that is what we booked (and was still thinking about the comfy beds situation). :)

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Yes, we had an inside - 5599. It was a bit larger than on other NCL ships we have cruised on. A balcony is just not worth it for us on a Caribbean cruise.

 

We work long hours and mostly our cruises are about getting away from phones and emails and just chilling out.

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Yea. We don't spend much time in our cabin. Just sleeping and showering, so we can't justify spending a lot of money on it. We always book inside. That gives us more money for excursions and the CASINO! :D

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Loved your review. I'm looking forward to our cruise about 40+ days. :D

 

Glad to hear the beds were comfy. I've read a lot of reviews on here that stated they are hard and very uncomfortable. (Although I have a tendency to be on the go all the time, I am so tired by the end of the day I could probably sleep on a rock).

 

I assume since you stated that you don't splurge on the extra restaurants or rooms, that you might have stayed in an inside cabin? Just wondering because that is what we booked (and was still thinking about the comfy beds situation). :)

 

Cruised Spirit 4 times and about to cruise for the 5th time in inside cabins and have yet to have a restless sleep in the beds.

 

Don't worry, same bed quality is in the inside cabins as OV or balcony. Get up to the suite level cabins and then, heck their mattresses may be a step up from the rest. But the quality of the inside cabin beds is still top notch in our opinion.

 

Dianne

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Cruised Spirit 4 times and about to cruise for the 5th time in inside cabins and have yet to have a restless sleep in the beds.

 

Don't worry, same bed quality is in the inside cabins as OV or balcony. Get up to the suite level cabins and then, heck their mattresses may be a step up from the rest. But the quality of the inside cabin beds is still top notch in our opinion.

 

Dianne

 

Thanks. Sounds good to me. :D

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Loved your review. I'm looking forward to our cruise about 40+ days. :D

 

Glad to hear the beds were comfy. I've read a lot of reviews on here that stated they are hard and very uncomfortable. (Although I have a tendency to be on the go all the time, I am so tired by the end of the day I could probably sleep on a rock).

:)

 

Have to share - another couple traveled with us. My friend asked if my bed was uncomfortable, said she felt like she was sleeping on a board. She felt the mattress and said her husband's side was a mattress but hers was the box spring - no mattress on top! They investigated and discovered her mattress was upside down - she was sleeping on the bottom side! It was zipped in upside down! They unzipped, turned it over, and she had a nice comfy mattress for the last two nights of the cruise!!! So if you have an uncomfy bed - check your mattress and make sure it is not upside down!!

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Thanks. Sounds good to me. :D

 

Spirit is still our favorite ship in all the ships we've sailed in the NCL fleet and we've sailed a bunch of them.

 

Enjoy your cruise.

 

Dianne

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Have to share - another couple traveled with us. My friend asked if my bed was uncomfortable, said she felt like she was sleeping on a board. She felt the mattress and said her husband's side was a mattress but hers was the box spring - no mattress on top! They investigated and discovered her mattress was upside down - she was sleeping on the bottom side! It was zipped in upside down! They unzipped, turned it over, and she had a nice comfy mattress for the last two nights of the cruise!!! So if you have an uncomfy bed - check your mattress and make sure it is not upside down!!

 

That is funny. I wonder how that happened?? :confused: I will definitely check if this is the case once we get there. I know that the beds they had on the Epic last year were to die for! I would so buy one of those in a heartbeat. :D

 

Spirit is still our favorite ship in all the ships we've sailed in the NCL fleet and we've sailed a bunch of them.

 

Enjoy your cruise.

 

Dianne

 

You know, so many people say that. I read nothing but excellent reviews from just about everyone with this ship. (Especially those that sail her over and over several times a year :D). I've only seen 2 post that stated anything negative and I got the feeling from all the post it was a spammer. But IDK.

 

It was a hard decision to choose a ship this time because of being on the Epic last year. What a MEGA ship! I figured it was going to be really hard to top that one! Going to a smaller and much older ship was definitely going to feel way different and I hoped that it wouldn't be disappointing.

 

I chose this ship only because it is the only available NCL ship cruising the western caribbean during the 1 week I'm out of school this year. I GOT LUCKY it was the Spirit!!!!

 

I'm looking forward to being on this ship and I hear that it has one of the most friendliest staff ever. :D

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Mitsugirly, just sit back and enjoy the journey. Your amazing journey begins the minute the Spirit starts its winding path out the Mississippi. For those of us living here in landlocked ``Ohio,'' that meandering trip through the mighty Mississippi is quite a site to behold.

 

You will be on the big river for several hours before you cruise out into the Gulf. Enjoy every minute and be out on deck to see how the captain has to navigate the ship around the various turns and passages.

 

You don't have to be a Tom Sawyer or a Huck Finn to enjoy the journey. Just close your eyes and let your imagination do the rest.

 

Dianne

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Riddle - I thought you were booked on the 7/24 sailing to AK on the Pearl? Obviously you jumped ship. Just curious what happened. :)

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We were originally booked for Alaska. We did not jump on flight reservations when we should have and they went up tremendously. We needed to go that week or none so we changed to the Caribbean trip and decided to drive to NO and saved quite a bit of money that way. Every bit helps. It is my goal to cruise twice a year and so we need to economize when we can. Unfortunately, my job has such constraints that I can only get an entire week away 3 or 4 times a year (those are the available weeks - I don't get that much time off) and I have to coincide that with my husband's vacation so sometimes we just have to go with the flow. Hopefully Alaska next July. Thanks for asking.

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Mitsugirly, just sit back and enjoy the journey. Your amazing journey begins the minute the Spirit starts its winding path out the Mississippi. For those of us living here in landlocked ``Ohio,'' that meandering trip through the mighty Mississippi is quite a site to behold.

 

You will be on the big river for several hours before you cruise out into the Gulf. Enjoy every minute and be out on deck to see how the captain has to navigate the ship around the various turns and passages.

 

You don't have to be a Tom Sawyer or a Huck Finn to enjoy the journey. Just close your eyes and let your imagination do the rest.

 

Dianne

 

I can't wait. Trust me! I see you are from Central Ohio too. We are probably neighbors and don't know it. :D

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Riddle - we (my DW and I) are from Columbus, and we are headed to cruise the Spirit October 9th! Like you, we are driving down as well. Our trip will come just after we drop our daughter off in Cincinnati for her freshman year at the University of Cincinnati.

 

Did you do the drive in one shot? Just curious, as we will be stopping overnight in Mississippi, then an overnight in NOLA before heading out. We also are going from the port to Tunica upon our return for 2 nights. So our big drive will be from Memphis to Columbus the Tuesday after our return.

 

Our cruise will be the first one after the Spirit comes out of drydock, so everything should be shiny and like-new! Thanks for the review!

 

PS - My wife and I are coming down to Cinci this Sunday for the Goetta fest at Newport-on-the-Levee! Never tried goetta, so we'll see how that goes... If you've had it before, any hint as to its taste would be great!!

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Thanks for your review! I honestly hear very little that concerns me for my 10/16/11 cruise aboard the Spirt!

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Thanks for the review.

 

As yet another "landlocked' Ohioan (Dayton), I'm looking forward to our February adventure.

 

tlarry: We are also driving down. We are planning on a straight shot and staying in either Picayune or Sidell. As we are departing the Sunday of Mardi Gras, a hotel in the middle of the city would not be worth the cost.

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Thanks for asking.

 

Riddle - we (my DW and I) are from Columbus,

 

 

 

As yet another "landlocked' Ohioan (Dayton), I'm looking forward to our February adventure.

 

 

Dianne

 

Wow there are a lot of Ohio people on this thread. :D You all should come join our Ohio "chat" thread. :)

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Wow there are a lot of Ohio people on this thread. :D You all should come join our Ohio "chat" thread. :)

 

Would you allow a Hoosier? Actually, our daughter heads to Miami University in two weeks so we will be spending plenty of time in Ohio!

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Would you allow a Hoosier? Actually, our daughter heads to Miami University in two weeks so we will be spending plenty of time in Ohio!

 

Certainly. We have people with ties to Ohio from all over. Michigan, I believe w. va as well. I just recently found it and trying to learn who is who myself. :D

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We are from Cincinnati too. We left about 6:30 Friday morning, stopped just to use the bathroom and went through drive thrus. We were in NO about 6:30 P.M. We looked around a bit and went to Harrah's. If you are gamblers and you spend 30 minutes gambling at Harrahs with your Total Rewards Card you can park for free. You get a ticket from a machine. You can only get one every 24 hours. I got one Saturday morning and went over for 1/2 hour on Sunday morning and got another one. Saved us $60 in parking. We left the car at the port as we needed to hit the road running on our return. Very quick and easy as we walked off the ship about 7:30 a.m. Due to work constraints, my DH had to be at work on Monday so we drove straight through again and got home about 7:00 p.m.

 

Our son lives in Upper Arlington so he may be close to you. My husband is a graduate of U.C. and DIL did graduate school at Ohio State. DD went to law school at Dayton.

 

I do love Tunica and would have liked to spend the night at Horseshoe in Louisville area as well but we had to get home.

 

Goetta - my Mom always made it and my son loves it. My DH hates the smell of it and does not even like the smell of it cooking in the house. I am OK with it. Go to Findlay's Market while you are in Cincinnati if you have time. It is great fun.

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