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Difference between La Cucina and La Trattoria (Spirit)

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We are booked on our first NCL cruise, sailing to Norway on the Spirit in June 2019. 


I've been doing some reading about the restaurants. We have the 4 specialty restaurant package. If I'm reading things correctly, there is an Italian restaurant on most NCL ships called La Cucina, but on the Spirit it is La Trattoria. What is the difference?


I found one very old post that said La Trattoria only has a pasta bar. Has this changed? Does anyone have a current menu?


And as long as we are talking about the Spirit, I'd love to hear any other comments you may have about the ship. What are your favorite restaurants and activities? Anything you don't like about the ship? Any other thoughts?



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Spirit is oldest ship in the Fleet but one of our favorites. The Italian restaurant is a part of the buffet sectioned off at night for dinner.  Full Lacucina menu although there are reports of a couple varieties floating out there now.  Last time we were there Dec 2015 the meal was hot and tasty - one of the best we've had.  They cook right there and restaurant was not busy, server great.


Back tiered seating by kids pool is nice.


Suites are nice if you booked one of those.

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I'm not sure why anyone would pay more for specialty dining to eat there. The Spirit's main buffet area is called Raffles court and during breakfast hours, the La Trattoria area is used as part of Raffles due to the high volume breakfast tragic. At night, this area is sectioned off and becomes La Trattoria as if it is something special and worth paying more for but unfortunately, I didn't find that to be the case. The food was very mediocre, on par with what some might say an Olive Garden. The focus seems to be more on presenting it as higher end with the approach to their service staff and decorated tables, but the food we ordered didn't taste all that different from what was offered in the buffet area and not surprising since it is cooked in the same kitchen.

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I’m working on a live report from the Spirit!  I board her today so I will get a menu posted there or on my blog 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, yaoughta said:

I'm not sure why anyone would pay more for specialty dining to eat there. 

I pay more to eat there because I like it. That seems like a good enough reason.


I will say that I don't order any of the pasta dishes, but there are some very good options in my opinion (such as the Osso Bucco), and it has two of my favourite desserts on NCL ships. That is the case in La Cucina on other ships as well. Personally, I don't see any difference in the food quality between La Trattoria and La Cucina.


It does seem to be somewhere that results in different opinions, some like it and some don't.


The location is irrelevant to me. I'm there for the food. However, I don't agree that it is just a section of Raffles that is separated off. The tables in there are different from the rest of the buffet. You know you are in the La Trattoria part even when it is the buffet.

Edited by KeithJenner

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I agree with you! If you like it, then it truly doesn't matter. I don't eat meat, so I only had the pasta dishes which tasted the same as the buffet area options or too similar. Also, what I meant by it not being different is that most specialty restaurants on cruises have their own designed specific location, but La Trattoria does not. Putting up partitions to separate it from the buffet area does not make it that much different even with the nicer tables and more attentive service.

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