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NCL Spirit Med Cruise Q&A

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Hello! I just got back home from the first Med sailing of the season on the NCL Spirit. If anyone has any questions about this itinerary, I'll be happy to try to answer.

 

I will be doing a full trip report and scanning all the daily schedules but I'm not sure when I'll get to it.

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Hello! I just got back home from the first Med sailing of the season on the NCL Spirit. If anyone has any questions about this itinerary, I'll be happy to try to answer.

 

I will be doing a full trip report and scanning all the daily schedules but I'm not sure when I'll get to it.

Can't wait.I am going in June.

Edited by Sunny12345

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Looking forward to your review! We leave for the same itinerary in 58 days -- I'd love to hear what your favorite ports were and what you did there. Anything you wish you'd done differently?

 

My husband was also wondering if there are any type of adults only area on the outside decks?

 

Hope you had a great time :D Thanks for the help!

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Hello! I just got back home from the first Med sailing of the season on the NCL Spirit. If anyone has any questions about this itinerary, I'll be happy to try to answer.

 

I will be doing a full trip report and scanning all the daily schedules but I'm not sure when I'll get to it.

 

Hello,

Looking forward to your review.

Could you please give more details were better to exchange Turkish lira?

Was it easy to get around in Istanbul on your own?

Thank you in advance.

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Hello,

Looking forward to your review.

Could you please give more details were better to exchange Turkish lira?

Was it easy to get around in Istanbul on your own?

Thank you in advance.

 

We didn't get Turkish Lira. We used a credit card for entrance fees at Ephesus, and the Grand Bazaar shops accepted Euros.

 

We had a tour in Istanbul. It's a VERY crowded city. I know a few people who did the HOHO bus and were very frustrated with the traffic and how slow it was. If you have never been to Istanbul and want to see the "big" sites, I would recommend a tour. Otherwise, I would suggest doing something off the beaten path. I spoke with a few people who did a Bosphorus cruise for a couple hours and raved about it.

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Looking forward to your review! We leave for the same itinerary in 58 days -- I'd love to hear what your favorite ports were and what you did there. Anything you wish you'd done differently?

 

My husband was also wondering if there are any type of adults only area on the outside decks?

 

Hope you had a great time :D Thanks for the help!

 

This was my first visit to Europe and therefore all these ports. I can honestly say I wouldn't have changed a thing! I did tours in some, and other ports are very walkable on your own. Two of the walkable ports - Venice and Mykonos - were my favorite. No need for tours; just some maps and maybe the Rick Steves audio tours for Venice.

 

There is a "quiet zone" on one of the decks; I believe forward deck 12 behind the Beir Garten. But, our ship did not have a lot of kids, and the regular pool was generally kid-free and quiet except for around lunch time when families would eat together at the tables surrounding the pool area.

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We didn't get Turkish Lira. We used a credit card for entrance fees at Ephesus, and the Grand Bazaar shops accepted Euros.

 

We had a tour in Istanbul. It's a VERY crowded city. I know a few people who did the HOHO bus and were very frustrated with the traffic and how slow it was. If you have never been to Istanbul and want to see the "big" sites, I would recommend a tour. Otherwise, I would suggest doing something off the beaten path. I spoke with a few people who did a Bosphorus cruise for a couple hours and raved about it.

 

Thank you.Can't wait.

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Welcome Back! There are 10 of us going on this cruise in September. I'm hoping it will be the trip of a lifetime! We will be celebrating our 50th birthdays.

 

My questions:

 

Did you spend extra time in Barcelona and if you did - what was your favorite site there?

 

What did you do while in Toulon?

 

Do you have any favorite spots on the ship?

 

How was the food in the MDR?

 

Did you eat in any specialty restaurants and if you did, were they worth the extra cost?

 

Where did you go when you were docked in Livorno?

 

Thanks!!

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How many ships were in port when you were in Rome? Then, were you on a tour there or DIY? Any thoughts on the shuttle process from the ship to the port entrance?

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We didn't get Turkish Lira. We used a credit card for entrance fees at Ephesus, and the Grand Bazaar shops accepted Euros.

 

We had a tour in Istanbul. It's a VERY crowded city. I know a few people who did the HOHO bus and were very frustrated with the traffic and how slow it was. If you have never been to Istanbul and want to see the "big" sites, I would recommend a tour. Otherwise, I would suggest doing something off the beaten path. I spoke with a few people who did a Bosphorus cruise for a couple hours and raved about it.

 

Mindy, hope you don't mind me jumping in on your thread. We also were on this cruise and had a wonderful time.

 

Mindy is correct, Istanbul is by far the most crowded city I have ever been too (with Singapore coming in a close second!). We did this port on our own. We were docked close to the Galata Bridge, so we just walked in (there is a tram available for 2TL). We walked to all the the main spots (Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Underground Cistern, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, and Spice Market). We are not big on paying to go into places, but did for the Underground Cistern (not worth the 10TL in my opinion). ATMs are available outside the port to take out TL, but as Mindy said, many places accepted Credit Cards or Euros. Only the Tram requires TL. We did a tour booked with some folks in the CC Roll Call in Izmir to Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary - great tour and well worth it.

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Welcome Back! There are 10 of us going on this cruise in September. I'm hoping it will be the trip of a lifetime! We will be celebrating our 50th birthdays.

 

My questions:

 

Did you spend extra time in Barcelona and if you did - what was your favorite site there?

 

What did you do while in Toulon?

 

Do you have any favorite spots on the ship?

 

How was the food in the MDR?

 

Did you eat in any specialty restaurants and if you did, were they worth the extra cost?

 

Where did you go when you were docked in Livorno?

 

Thanks!!

 

Jump in with my prespective:

 

Did you spend extra time in Barcelona and if you did - what was your favorite site there?

 

This was our second cruise out of Barcelona, and about our 4th time there, so we arrived the night before and just visited the Ramba. This town is spread out a lot, so the Ho-Ho buses are great here.

 

What did you do while in Toulon?

 

I believe a lot of people did tours here. Not big on them, except for the smaller ones organized by some of the folks in Roll Call. We were lucky to dock in the town port rather La Seyne sur Mer. We visited town market, then took a bus to the cable car up to Mt Faron. Nice view in good weather (which we luckly had all through the cruise). Otherwise, not much else there.

 

Do you have any favorite spots on the ship?

I think we spent more time in the Galaxy of the Stars - great entertainment by the crew.

 

How was the food in the MDR?

 

We are not real picky, and found food in both the Windows and the Garden very good - no complaints on this.

 

Did you eat in any specialty restaurants and if you did, were they worth the extra cost?

 

We were book in several. The first was the steakhouse. Everyone raved about it, but I found my steak to be tough and overcooked. We cancelled all our other reservations and stuck with the MDR. I think this was just an off night, as no one else seem to have an issue.

 

Where did you go when you were docked in Livorno?

 

After research we decided to just do Pisa. We took the shuttle bus from the dock to downtown (5 Euro return), bus to the train station, train to Pisa. Very easy, though a bit time consuming. If you want to do Pisa and Florence, recommend a tour or taking a taxi to the train station. We really enjoyed the extra time to wonder around Pisa.

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How many ships were in port when you were in Rome? Then, were you on a tour there or DIY? Any thoughts on the shuttle process from the ship to the port entrance?

 

I think there were 3 or 4 ships in Rome, but I honestly wasn't paying attention. It was a Saturday and the city was very crowded. We DIY'd it - took the train. The shuttles to the entrance of the port was a short ride, 5 minutes probably. We were one of the first people off the boat so we got right on a shuttle, and had to wait maybe 15 minutes for a shuttle once we arrived back to the port. If you DIY, definitely give yourself lots of ample time to get back to the ship.

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Welcome Back! There are 10 of us going on this cruise in September. I'm hoping it will be the trip of a lifetime! We will be celebrating our 50th birthdays.

 

My questions:

 

Did you spend extra time in Barcelona and if you did - what was your favorite site there?

 

What did you do while in Toulon?

 

Do you have any favorite spots on the ship?

 

How was the food in the MDR?

 

Did you eat in any specialty restaurants and if you did, were they worth the extra cost?

 

Where did you go when you were docked in Livorno?

 

Thanks!!

 

 

Did you spend extra time in Barcelona and if you did - what was your favorite site there?

We arrived the morning of the cruise, so we went to Sagrada Familia (just the outside), Parc Guell, and walked Las Ramblas before heading to port. We made great use of the metro system which is very easy to navigate. We bought one T10 ticket which is 10 trips for 10 euros and shared it - it was perfect.

 

What did you do while in Toulon?

We went to Bandol. Great little town.

 

Do you have any favorite spots on the ship?

Aside from our balcony? As Realitoes said, Galaxy of the Stars is a great spot, especially the perimeter window area. We also watched sail away from deck 7 aft a couple nights. For a quick dinner, Blue Lagoon and the adjacent bar are great (tell Ed the bartender Mindy & Tim say hi). And spent a lot of time (and money) at the roulette table in the casino.

 

How was the food in the MDR?

Mostly great. I am sensitive to high sodium levels and had a lot of problems with that. On the last night, I ordered lamb and it was totally inedible. Other than that, I found the food to be really excellent quality (despite seeing the staff walking around with food plates under plastic covers, which reminds me of eating in a hospital). Ate breakfast two mornings in Windows and had the eggs benedict both times because I found it to be really good. Otherwise it wasn't much different than the food being offered in the buffet, which we found to be really good.

 

Did you eat in any specialty restaurants and if you did, were they worth the extra cost?

We ate at Cagney's Steakhouse and had one of the best filets I've ever had. Everything at Cagney's that we tried was amazing, and we probably ordered half the menu. Also ate at Le Bistro, where I had some sodium problems with all my dishes but the desserts alone were worth the cover charge (get the Napoleon if you like nutella).

 

Where did you go when you were docked in Livorno?

We took the ship's "Florence on your own" tour, which was a shuttle that dropped you off in Florence and picked you up at the end of the day. We had a guide who explained sites and handed out maps and answered questions on the way there. Then we were led to a leather shop where we had a short demonstration and we were able to use the restrooms any time during the day, if we needed. Then that was our meeting point in the afternoon to go back to the shuttle. It was overpriced but worth it for us, since we reached a point in our planning where we didn't want to research public transportation any more (we planned this trip in essentially 3 weeks after Carnival cancelled our Sunshine sailing).

 

Enjoy your cruise and your birthday celebrations!

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I also am excited about your pending review/dailies. I'm reading up on this itinerary in hopes of booking it for 2015.

 

I hope you'll share pics.

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I also am excited about your pending review/dailies. I'm reading up on this itinerary in hopes of booking it for 2015.

 

I hope you'll share pics.

 

Eventually! Catching up with work is unfortunately my first priority now. :(

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Ohhh, that pesky work that gets in the way for us all.:D

Thanks for the Rome insight. We too are going to DIY (in less than 2 mos!) and I look forward to your review.

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Hello! I just got back home from the first Med sailing of the season on the NCL Spirit. If anyone has any questions about this itinerary, I'll be happy to try to answer.

 

I will be doing a full trip report and scanning all the daily schedules but I'm not sure when I'll get to it.

 

Could you describe the procedure for how the cruise handles passports at each port? From what I have read, they have your passport the entire cruise. My wife is very concerned by this. Is that true? Does that prove to be an issue with any of the excursions or at any of the ports/cities/sights visited? Thanks

 

Tim

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I am so excited to see a thread about the Spirit. I just booked the May 6th cruise but starting in Venice and ending in Barcelona. I read somewhere that it's a good idea because of the overnight in Venice and the sea day ..all of which help with jet lag from flying in from the States.

 

My question is does the ship do a money exchange or do we need to get euros at home before we go?

 

I am really looking forward to seeing the Blessed Mother's house. I love stuff like that.

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I think there were 3 or 4 ships in Rome, but I honestly wasn't paying attention. It was a Saturday and the city was very crowded. We DIY'd it - took the train. The shuttles to the entrance of the port was a short ride, 5 minutes probably. We were one of the first people off the boat so we got right on a shuttle, and had to wait maybe 15 minutes for a shuttle once we arrived back to the port. If you DIY, definitely give yourself lots of ample time to get back to the ship.

 

Hi,

What time did you take the train in Rome to go back to the ship?

Thank you

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Mindy, hope you don't mind me jumping in on your thread. We also were on this cruise and had a wonderful time.

 

Mindy is correct, Istanbul is by far the most crowded city I have ever been too (with Singapore coming in a close second!). We did this port on our own. We were docked close to the Galata Bridge, so we just walked in (there is a tram available for 2TL). We walked to all the the main spots (Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Underground Cistern, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, and Spice Market). We are not big on paying to go into places, but did for the Underground Cistern (not worth the 10TL in my opinion). ATMs are available outside the port to take out TL, but as Mindy said, many places accepted Credit Cards or Euros. Only the Tram requires TL. We did a tour booked with some folks in the CC Roll Call in Izmir to Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary - great tour and well worth it.

 

Is the Galata Bridge one that you can walk across and be in Asian Istanbul?

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Mindy, hope you don't mind me jumping in on your thread. We also were on this cruise and had a wonderful time.

 

Mindy is correct, Istanbul is by far the most crowded city I have ever been too (with Singapore coming in a close second!). We did this port on our own. We were docked close to the Galata Bridge, so we just walked in (there is a tram available for 2TL). We walked to all the the main spots (Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Underground Cistern, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, and Spice Market). We are not big on paying to go into places, but did for the Underground Cistern (not worth the 10TL in my opinion). ATMs are available outside the port to take out TL, but as Mindy said, many places accepted Credit Cards or Euros. Only the Tram requires TL. We did a tour booked with some folks in the CC Roll Call in Izmir to Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary - great tour and well worth it.

 

I love to hear that you walked in Istanbul. One question: everyone (on another site) mentions that going to all the sites is uphill. Is this a nice, gentle hill or a wipe-you-out hill? I'm fairly fit, but it's also going to be hot when I'm there. Just want to know if the hill will be any problem...

Thanks!

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We arrived back home last nite, on the same cruise and had a great time.

As far as Turkey and the Lira, I ordered the tickets to see the Hagia Sophia online before leaving, just printed out our tickets. Went there, and went right to the entry, and went in, otherwise there is a long line to buy tickets. It was amazing to see.

The Blue Mosque was closed from 12 noon to 2PM. There is no charge there.

We went to the Cistern, and they required TL, its $10 TL per person. The cashier directed us up the street a block to exchange Euros into TL. But the gift shop there accepts Euros. I kinda agree, I would pass on it.

Mostly everyone else accepted TL, so we did not have to bother getting any more.

We walked Istanbul, you get off the ship, walk across the bridge, go to the left, cross the street and can follow the street car tracks to the Hagia Sophia, and in the same location is the Blue Mosque and the Cistern. And follow the tracks up to the Grand Bazaar, and headed back to the cruise ship, go right thru to the Spice Market.

And through out Istanbul, you will be approached by folks asking where you are from, and its funny, but everyone had a cousin, or brother who lives there. They are working to bring you to their carpet shop to show you their collection. Even while going into the Blue Mosque, putting our shoes into a plastic bag, before entering, a gentleman asked me if I was on a tour, as he would give me a tour of the BM, and then wanted to show me his carpet shop... They are everywhere. Just say 'no' and keep walking away. Do not get into a long conversation, as they are pros to get you into their shops.

Otherwise, it was a great trip. Have fun!! :)

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We arrived back home last nite, on the same cruise and had a great time.

As far as Turkey and the Lira, I ordered the tickets to see the Hagia Sophia online before leaving, just printed out our tickets. Went there, and went right to the entry, and went in, otherwise there is a long line to buy tickets. It was amazing to see.

The Blue Mosque was closed from 12 noon to 2PM. There is no charge there.

We went to the Cistern, and they required TL, its $10 TL per person. The cashier directed us up the street a block to exchange Euros into TL. But the gift shop there accepts Euros. I kinda agree, I would pass on it.

Mostly everyone else accepted TL, so we did not have to bother getting any more.

We walked Istanbul, you get off the ship, walk across the bridge, go to the left, cross the street and can follow the street car tracks to the Hagia Sophia, and in the same location is the Blue Mosque and the Cistern. And follow the tracks up to the Grand Bazaar, and headed back to the cruise ship, go right thru to the Spice Market.

And through out Istanbul, you will be approached by folks asking where you are from, and its funny, but everyone had a cousin, or brother who lives there. They are working to bring you to their carpet shop to show you their collection. Even while going into the Blue Mosque, putting our shoes into a plastic bag, before entering, a gentleman asked me if I was on a tour, as he would give me a tour of the BM, and then wanted to show me his carpet shop... They are everywhere. Just say 'no' and keep walking away. Do not get into a long conversation, as they are pros to get you into their shops.

Otherwise, it was a great trip. Have fun!! :)

 

Thank you for this info on Istanbul. Very helpful! I added it to my "Things to Remember" list :cool:

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