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Elaine515

REVIEW of the NCL SPIRIT 3/18 SAILING

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Ya Staci is fine now.. I think that something at Shogun didn't agree with her.

 

No word on the ring yet..guessing it's not going to turn up... :(

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Thanks for the review I just knew that you would publish one, firstly pleased that most went well for you and yours , you said that in the back of windows it was a bit rattle and roll with shaking / vibrations :eek: am I going to regret booking an AD suite at the very rear of the Spirit we will be on it for 17 days Panama Canal next month, may not have time to change at this late stage. Any more tips ???

 

We were in an AD suite, 9710 for 3/18 sailing. First thing we noticed when looking at the bar area, every glass has a little foam (drawer liner) cut out under it. The cabin did vibrate whenever the ship was cruising at a high rate of speed usually at night, we still slept with out issues. Really the only nights we noticed the vibration were right out of Miami, on our way to Barbados, Friday, Saturday, less on Sunday. No vibration Monday - Thursday nights, then again Fri & Sat, but less than the first nights. I know this may not help you, as the itinerary is different, you may want to look at the distance you will be traveling port to port.

 

We had a great cruise, and would agree with Elaine, except for the kids and Le Bistro. The kids were out there, blocking hallways and stairways after 11pm to the wee hours of the morning. Also, the length of dinner at Le Bistro. We feel this of course is personal opinion, as we happend to enjoy leisurely dinners with new friends and good conversation on several evenings, 2+ hours was our normal dinning time each evening of the cruise. Again, this is our opinion, if you want to dine faster let your server know, but we never experienced a lag between courses, when we finished escargot, salad was delivered. The length of dinner will also depend on the number of courses you order.

 

Peter

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We were in an AD suite, 9710 for 3/18 sailing. First thing we noticed when looking at the bar area, every glass has a little foam (drawer liner) cut out under it. The cabin did vibrate whenever the ship was cruising at a high rate of speed usually at night, we still slept with out issues. Really the only nights we noticed the vibration were right out of Miami, on our way to Barbados, Friday, Saturday, less on Sunday. No vibration Monday - Thursday nights, then again Fri & Sat, but less than the first nights. I know this may not help you, as the itinerary is different, you may want to look at the distance you will be traveling port to port.

 

We had a great cruise, and would agree with Elaine, except for the kids and Le Bistro. The kids were out there, blocking hallways and stairways after 11pm to the wee hours of the morning. Also, the length of dinner at Le Bistro. We feel this of course is personal opinion, as we happend to enjoy leisurely dinners with new friends and good conversation on several evenings, 2+ hours was our normal dinning time each evening of the cruise. Again, this is our opinion, if you want to dine faster let your server know, but we never experienced a lag between courses, when we finished escargot, salad was delivered. The length of dinner will also depend on the number of courses you order.

 

Peter

Thanks for your input Peter, reassuring to know that the vibration is bearable, 17 days with the shake rattle and roll may have driven me NUTS Glad to hear that your cruise went well, our friends are staying in 9710 any more advice tips ext would be appreciated thanks again

 

Pitcairn

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Elaine - Did your kids go to the arcade? If so, did they need quarters or was it a card that was used with a certain amount charged to it. My son already has a bag a quarters ready to take with him. I'd rather leave them home, if possible (too heavy).

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;) We will be sailing 4/15 on the Spirit. Can you tell me how many dress up nights there are, and how dressy do people get? Thanks for all your info on the Spirit. It was a great help to us.

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Elaine - Did your kids go to the arcade? If so, did they need quarters or was it a card that was used with a certain amount charged to it. My son already has a bag a quarters ready to take with him. I'd rather leave them home, if possible (too heavy).

 

 

Tell your son to save his quarters and leave them home. The machines in the arcade (which by the way is the largest I have ever seen on a cruise ship) only takes tokens which can only be gotten by inserting dollar bills ($1, 5, 10s etc) into the change machine located in the arcade. Strangely enough this past cruise, the arcade cost us more than the casino did!!

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;) We will be sailing 4/15 on the Spirit. Can you tell me how many dress up nights there are, and how dressy do people get? Thanks for all your info on the Spirit. It was a great help to us.

 

 

On the first formal night (which on our 9 day was Saturday) there was quite a few passengers dressed up quite fancy (long gowns, tuxs). Then there was a Captains Night and a 2nd formal night (which noone really quite understood the difference) but not as many of the passengers were all dressed up after the first formal night.

 

This cruise was more of a relaxed, laid back crowd. Most of the women wore capris to dinner and the men wore nice shirts and pants throughout the week.

 

I think alot of it had to do with the fact that we visited 5 Islands in 5 Days and most of the tours started early in the morning and were long and passengers were tired by dinnertime. I know we were!!

 

 

 

You're very welcome for the information. I had a hard time finding it when I was doing my research and promised myself that I would make it easier for future Spirit cruisers!!!

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Random tidbit:

If you are in the "Bund," which serves as the sports bar, and the TV's all go black...don't worry. I think their signal is very weak in there and whenever the sound goes completely silent for more than a few seconds the screen's go black..they will recover when the sound is back on.

 

We discovered this during the NCAA Hoops games becuase they used the direct satellite feed rather than network feed (IE: no commercials)..so during the timeouts the TV's would go black rather than show the dead-air feed.

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Thanks for your input Peter, reassuring to know that the vibration is bearable, 17 days with the shake rattle and roll may have driven me NUTS Glad to hear that your cruise went well, our friends are staying in 9710 any more advice tips ext would be appreciated thanks again

 

Pitcairn

 

There is only one usable 110v outlet in the suite, located at the bar, you may need a power strip for charging batteries, razors and other items. There is a second outlet in the bathroom, but it is part of the hairdryer (wall mounted over tub) and will not accept any polarized plugs. A quick note, only one (t.v.) remote, but it works on both televisions.

 

Peter

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Elaine - thanks for the info about the arcade. This means I will be out of more money!! My son will plant himself in there and grow roots!!

 

Do you have any info on the internet charges per minute? How was raffles buffet? Was it as bad as a lot of reviews have said?

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Elaine - thanks for the info about the arcade. This means I will be out of more money!! My son will plant himself in there and grow roots!!

 

Do you have any info on the internet charges per minute? How was raffles buffet? Was it as bad as a lot of reviews have said?

 

 

Here's a bit of good news for you....Check the Camp Program because on our cruise on Saturday morning between 10-11am it was FREE PLAY in the ARCADE!!!

 

I don't remember the charges for the internet services, if I find it on one of the Daily Freestyles Newsletter, I will let you know.

 

As for Raffles, for us it fine. But I have to let you know that we're not picky people. We eat at McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Subways etc on a regular basis. The waffles were absolutely delicious for breakfast especially with whipped cream and syrup on them, as was the bagels and lox!!

 

My girls only ate dinner at Raffles one night and they said it was ok, but not great. So my suggestion, eat breakfast at Raffles, but dinner in one of the dining rooms...If you like spaghetti or penne, make reservations at LaTrottia (sp). The service and food was great and it's free.... Maxim's was definitely worth the money.

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We were also on the 18th sailing. We agree with most of the above reviews. We had an awesome time.

 

Arriving in Fort Lauderdale for the transfer to Miami is something I will avoid at all costs for future crusing. The FL customs took 2 hours to get through. If you have never gone through it, be prepared to be in a long line up with no washrooms. Thank God we had an early morning flight and knew that we couldn't get on the ship until 1:00 ish anyway. Embarkation was excellent. We arrived at 12:35 and were poolside by 1:15 p.m. enjoying pina coladas.

 

Disembarkation was brutal! In the NCL literature they claim "disembarkation at your leisure". Being from Canada we had to go to the Moulin Rouge for custom control at a specified time. Unfortunately all international tourists went at the exact same time instead of the time specified, not to mention Customs was late in opening up which resulted in a long wait lining up. What surprised me the most about the day was how early we arrived in Miami and how long it took to get us off. When we finally got our colour card called, we went down like cattle and then something went wrong with the computer to swipe our card for the last time and we had to wait again in the stairwells.

 

For spring break we did expect to see a higher than normal amount of children, however, we were surprised that we didn't not see them as much. The kids programmes keep them very occupied and happy. They generally stayed in the children's area and we did enjoy seeing them at their planned events such as walking through with their singing. Tivoli pool and bar area were main adult areas.

 

However, there were groups of young teens than hung out in stairwells late at night especially in our section below Raffles on 11. At times they could be quite rude. The disco was hugely packed with preteens and teens. When they were to leave at 11:00 we found them in all areas of the ship. We saw quite the amount of ship romances going on. We wondered how many parents knew their preteen daughter was out at 1:00 a.m. My girlfriend watched 5 young teens throw coffee creamers and ice cubes from the top deck down on the tenders arriving back from St. Lucia. We confronted them but of course they would not give names or suite numbers to discuss with parents. We complained to reception who "knew" of this group of kids from other complaints but they could do little about it unless caught by their security people or cameras.

 

Regarding the vibrations. Yes they were very present. We were 11 aft and felt much vibration on the first 2 days going to Barbados and on the return trip. We do know the ship was going full speed. We had to stuff paper behind the picture frames as they rattled so loudly at one point. Our sliding glass shower door rattled so much we stuffed a face cloth on the rail. My gf had to wear earplugs in order to sleep. It was ok once you got used to it but I have not experienced this much from other ships. Do not sit near the big beautiful windows in "Windows" if this bothers you. One in my party got a migraine from the rumbling below us while we ate. It was quite intense on the Saturday night!

 

The food was fantastic! Even better than Princess which surprised me. We ate at all restaurants, Raffles, Windows and the Garden Room. Le Bistro food is to die for but we had a 7:45 reservation and finished at 10:20. Service is hospitable but very very very slow. We loved Maxim's. Tepanaki was ok but I'm not a Japanese food fan so don't go by me. We mainly ate in Windows as we enjoyed the room better than Garden and agree that service was inconsistent. The new computer screens are great showing wait times. One night we waited 45 minutes to get into Windows.

 

Bar staff and pool areas are great. Love Champagne Charlie's. We think that the Galaxy of the Stars would make a better location for the disco but that is just our 2 cents.

 

3 of us used the spa services. I was very happy with the Seven Seas massage. Ask for Claire. My friend was not entirely thrilled with her pedicure but don't know why.

 

I did 2 tours only as I had been to most islands before. Thank goodness only two as they were both disappointing. The Shore Excursion department is VERY disorganized. Both times we went to talk and there were only 2 people working and the lines took 1/2 hour to get to front. We were on a waiting list for the Land & Sea to Fondeux Estates in St. Lucia. 3 days before St. Lucia we received an alternate tour that was a catamarin and volcano tour. We decided to go with that one. The next day we received 2 more tickets to a all day catamaran tour. We returned them that night as you will get charged for them if you don't return them 24 hours prior to arriving at the island. That very same night after sleep we got ANOTHER set of tickets on our door for the original tour we were on a waiting list for. Thus we had been issued tickets for 3 tours running at the exact same time!!! As time had run out the next day (24 hour rule) they tried to charge us for the ones they just gave us. You can imagine the nonsense discussion that followed. Sadly we heard during the one we took that people were still on waiting list and could have used our tickets but were told still sold out.

 

Barbados 4 X 4 & Paradise Beach - the 4 X 4 part is fine and we saw a bit of Barbados and it was exciting for a little while. The Paradise Beach - come on - not a Paradise by a long shot. The 4 X 4 trucks dropped us off and left. They said we were going back to the ship by bus that would be arriving later. It was a bit disconcerting but we were happy to be able to finally see the "Paradise Beach." But we were there for 20 minutes tops. It was not a sandy beach and was just around the corner from the boat. DO NOT TAKE THIS TOUR IF A PART OF BARBADOS BEACH IS WHAT YOU WANT!

St. Lucia Land & Sea - Catamaran tour was good and we did go to a fairly secluded beach except for peddlars. The lunch was great. The Land part - well - if you've seen one mountain you've seen them all. For 1 hour we drove up and down the St. Lucia mountains of course stopping twice at souvenir areas. We actually fell asleep because there was no commentary.

 

Would I recommend NCL? Yes for the value. We were 11th floor balcony and the room was fairly large with a super size bathroom for our category. The food was very good. The itinerary was good also and the length of our vacation was perfect! Overall we had a fantastic time. Keep in mind the little things I mentioned, that yes, are generally little and did not greatly change our feelings of the vacation.

 

The Spirit is a beautiful ship and you will have a good time.

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Elaine - I just reread your review, was the trundle bed really on the floor between the two twins?? We had a trundle on the Dawn and it was a bed that popped up between the twins, and essentially made for a wall-to-wall bed. I will not be happy if the trundle stays on the floor and is not the same height as the other beds!!! You are right, if they could put a trundle in the inside cabin, they certainly could also put them in the oceanview or balcony. What else could you tell me about the Quad that might make it easier for me to plan. The bathroom sounds like it is the same as on the Dawn, loved it! Did the closet have many shelves? Did you have enough hangers or do I bring some from home? Are there really only 3 drawers?? Thanks again for all your help.

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Elaine - I just reread your review, was the trundle bed really on the floor between the two twins?? We had a trundle on the Dawn and it was a bed that popped up between the twins, and essentially made for a wall-to-wall bed. I will not be happy if the trundle stays on the floor and is not the same height as the other beds!!! You are right, if they could put a trundle in the inside cabin, they certainly could also put them in the oceanview or balcony. What else could you tell me about the Quad that might make it easier for me to plan. The bathroom sounds like it is the same as on the Dawn, loved it! Did the closet have many shelves? Did you have enough hangers or do I bring some from home? Are there really only 3 drawers?? Thanks again for all your help.

 

 

Ok, now this is interesting....we don't really honestly know if the trundle bed came up because we never tried it and Maria never even offered it to us. We literally had the trundle bed on the floor between the other two beds and hated it.

 

Definitely bring extra hangers with you. Not only weren't there enough for the 4 of us, but what is really strange is that we were going to leave the hangers in the room and Maria told us that they were required to remove all extra hangers from all the cabins so we wound up taking ours home with us.

 

We had 4 drawers in our cabin plus I used the two open spaces under the "phone table" for my shirts/shorts.

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Elaine - thanks again, I might bring along those collapsible cubes that are now available in the stores for more storage.

 

Elaine or anyone else -Can you tell me what movies were playing onboard? My kids want to know.

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They showed "Bourne Supremacy" one day in the movie theater... that's all I remember..but all of the movies were recent. They also have a movie channel on the Stateroom TV's.

 

Someone earlier was asking about the arcade..I am a bit of a conniseur and yes the arcade was quite good, although a couple of the older games were not in full repair..not a deal breaker by any means.

 

Don't use the internet onboard if you can help it... there are internet cafe's at nearly every port and they are much cheaper.

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Slyther - Thanks for the info, all three were mine questions. My kids love the arcade and going to the movies, and my DH has can't live 9 days without checking up on what's going on at work. Were the internet cafes in the ports right close to where the ship docks?

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We only hit 1 internet cafe (St Lucia)...it was right in the mall they have at the pier where the duty free shops are.

I believe we saw one in the mall at Barbados as well.

 

I dont recall seeing one in the pier area at Grenada Tortola, or Antigua (though I'm willing to bet there was one in Antigua nearby)

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We only hit 1 internet cafe (St Lucia)...it was right in the mall they have at the pier where the duty free shops are.

I believe we saw one in the mall at Barbados as well.

 

I dont recall seeing one in the pier area at Grenada Tortola, or Antigua (though I'm willing to bet there was one in Antigua nearby)

 

I saw one one in Antigua on the right side of the main street as you exit the pier area just before the square.

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Movies playing were on-board the March 18th sailing....

 

 

Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow...starring Jude Law & Angelina Jolie

I, Robot, starring Will Smith

Spider Man 2, starring Toby Maguire & Kirsten Dunst

Collateral, starring Tom Cruise & Jaime Foxx

Shark Tale, featuring the voices of Will Smith, Jack Black & Renee Zellweger

Little Black Book, starring Brittany Murphy & Ron Livingston

Without a Paddle, starring Seth Green & Matthew Lillard

The Bourne Supremacy, starring Matt Damon & Julia Stiles

 

on some nights there were 2 showings at 7PM and 10PM and on some nights there was only a 10PM showing.

 

 

I'll see if I can find the internet prices for on the ship, but my brother in law also had to use the computer and only did so while we were in Port.

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Elaine - thanks for the movie list, my kids are getting so excited about this cruise (like I'm not!!).

 

Thanks everyone for the internet info, DH will have to email when we get into ports.

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I have only read one small review thus far on your Roll Call but I knew you guys would also have a great time.

 

Let me know how it was....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

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Finally posting....thanks to all, especially Elaine for getting us all together. We met TERRIFIC friends as did my Kids. Hope to cruise with you again.

 

PS Our room stewardess was GREAT..brought us the soft bed overlay straight away. She also had the pleasure of cleaning my teenagers room! She should have earned hazard pay for that.

 

LeBistro was FABULOUS. The Chocolate Fondue is to die for. I enjoyed it better than Maxims (had a migraine that night just thinking about the end of vacation that I couldn't enjoy dinner that much)

 

Our experience with the Teppanyaki Grill was much different from Elaine's. WE had a great time and Chef was very entertaining. Knew no one else at the table and he really go us involved.

 

Understand there was table dancing at Henry's Pub. SOrry I missed it.

 

Ditto on Elaine's comments on the Kayaking in Antigua and the NCL tour to the BATHS. They are both a MUST DO.

 

We also went swimming with the turtles on the NCL 5 Star Catamaran. It was OUTSTANDING. and the crew were a 10! Lunch was out of this world.

 

GRENADA: Took the ship's Jeep Tour. It was really good. Take the swim in the sulphur pool and put that orange gook on your skin...it washes off.

 

ST LUCIA: Can't say enough bad things about the NCL Between the Pitons. IT was SO OVERCROWDED. A definite MUST SKIP or choose a different excursion. FUnny they served lunch on paper plates (5 star used real plates...now I know why). So, they serve us chicken and rice (surprise) on paper plates. Well, if I tell you the wind on the moving sailboat was as blustery as any wind in the 100 Acre Woods. There was food everywhere! Had to choose between the rum punch and the chicken. Can you guess which one won?

 

SHIPENDALES: P-l-ease. Skip it. It was a NON entity. I've seen more flesh at the pool

 

LIQUOR: the liquor police were in full force. We went to the "BRIG" really, that's the name of the room where they hold your luggage hostage with the bottle of wine that you brought on board. Bring a good bottle, so when you pay the $15 ransom fee, it is worth it. It was truly a little bit ridiculous. One guy brought 6 beers and they confiscated that. I don't know about you, but 6 beers for 11 days between this young couple.....that wasn't even a pre dinner cocktail. It was a little extreme. Carnival lets you bring wine...and I don't remember having this issue on Princess either.

 

The rooms are small, no, very small. But the staff were great. The food is good and the Ports of Call are terrific.

 

Enjoy

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