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intrepid_guy

REVIEW: Norwegian SPIRIT 1/29-2/9/06

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Hope you packed a lunch first!! :D :D

 

Let me start by saying, I am a fan of NCL. Some might even call me a cheerleader, including several NCL employees (as I later found out). I like NCL and have never had a “bad” cruise experience with NCL. I, personally, believe in them, what they are trying to do and their product, so just know that going in.

 

I am going to present a majority of this in a day by day style, so that you can maybe get a feeling of the whole experience. And, I think I am going to leave out a lot of my personal time with friends I met ahead of time (TorontoGuy!!!) and those I met onboard ( you know who you are – I love you!) since it really has little to do with a “cruise review” but I will mention them as needed. Hey, does this sound like a bunch of rules? :rolleyes: OK, here we go!

 

Day 1 – NYC:

We arrived at the Port of NY at 11:50am; the check-in procedure was very smooth and efficient. We opted to stand in the “regular” passenger line as the Latitudes line was quite long and we had previous experience with that. (In San Juan, we stood in the Latitudes line and it was awful, very long and 3 times the people got through the regular line as the Latitudes line. Suggestion for NCL, have more people servicing Latitudes! These are supposed to be the people you want to keep; there were 3 to 4 times the agents helping the regular passengers.) With that said we got through to the agent very quickly and then picked up our key cards and went aboard. We were in our room by 12:30 at the latest! Pretty good I thought!

 

When we got to the room, I found the Anniversary package letter waiting, as well as the strawberries and champagne, excellent. In addition, a mysterious bottle of wine and plate of canapés were in the room, I had no idea why. We stood on the balcony, drinking this mystery wine while we sailed out of NYC in the cold and rain. Into the evening the seas became rough, according to the TV 7-13 feet (not that bad compared to previous cruises). It was a good thing we decided to take Dramamine though, otherwise it could have been a rough night. Several times during the night I woke due to the ship slamming in to waves and everything shaking and creaking (we were in cabin 9000 all the way forward). At times, waves and spray could be seen outside the sliding doors.

 

For dinner, we had gone to Windows at 6 (we hadn’t eaten since breakfast) and got a table for 2 with no wait. This dining room is very nice and very impressive. It is huge, and the windows facing aft were quite stunning! Some of the things we ate were: Empanada, shrimp, corn and chili soup, prime rib, chocolate pecan cake and raspberry chocolate cake. Everything was quite good, and we were done in about 1 hour. We went to the Welcome Aboard show which was mostly musical acts from around the ship; it was just ok, not great. I missed seeing a bigger variety and the show cast. We went to bed early after a LONG day.

 

Day 2 – Sea day:

The seas were still quite rough early in the day, but got better as the day went on. Fish and Chips were offered in Henry’s, the plate was small, but the fish was very good. Since that “meal” was small we decided to check out Raffles Buffet. There was a decent selection of food, and it was actually not bad. (We found out later that they got rid of the previous buffet chef and there was a new one starting with this sailing. We were advised by some crew members that the food was now 100% better.) As I took a nap, the concierge came by to introduce herself. I found this odd since we were only in a balcony, not a suite, and the lowest category balcony to boot! The concierge Lisa Meyer (Hi Lisa!) was quite nice and also wanted to bring by the Hotel Director, I was still perplexed as to why they wanted to meet us.

 

Formal night #1 – went to Windows for dinner with 5 others (plus the two of us) and had a short 5 minute wait or so for a large table, this was at around 8:30 or so. A sample of the dinner we had included: steak strips with Granny Smith apples and wasabi reduction (yum!), leek and carrot broth, bowtie pasta with salmon, Tandoori Chicken with hot relish, and chocolate velvet cake. All excellent!

 

I also learned from experience on this day that if you order a drink (in my case, for example, a vodka tonic) and do not specify the vodka, you may end up with Grey Goose! For $10 a pop. I learned very quickly to say “house vodka”, because not every server will ask you, especially this one woman in Champagne Charlie’s. I actually saw her take a friend’s drink order for a cosmopolitan and she told the bartender “Cosmo with Grey Goose”. Needles to say, I told my friend and he changed his order!

 

We went to bed late that night after hanging out in Maharini’s till 2 am. We found another tray of chocolate covered strawberries in our room, this time from the Concierge. (I was still confused as to why…)

 

Day 3 – Sea:

Slept in for a change! We wandered around the ship and decided to have lunch at the BBQ on the pool deck. They had a good but small selection of items and they were all tasty. We attended the Latitudes party at 1 pm where I met the Hotel Director Alexandra Schroeder (Hi Alex!) It turns out that they wanted to meet me because of Cruise Critic! They liked what I said on CC and wanted me to know they appreciated me. (How awesome is that????) So, in the long run, we discovered we were going to be treated as “suite passengers” even though we were not in one! (Thanks so much Alex and Lisa!!!!) We also met Jorge and Pam (who apparently read CC as well, Hi Guys) somehow they picked me out by my SS NORWAY tee-shirt. I found that a bit surprising. Jorge, it turns out, worked on the NORWAY! So, we, along with Jorge, Pam and Alexandra talked about the NORWAY and the SS UNITED STATES. No solid information that I can share unfortunately, but Alex believes they are still going to do something with the SS US.

 

After the party, we shopped a bit in the onboard stores (there was 10% off for Latitudes members). This afternoon was also when the anniversary party was scheduled (part of the Anniversary package). We met the host Chris Service (Hi Chris!) who became a friend throughout the week.

 

When we went back to the cabin, there was a cheese plate waiting for us, another nice touch in a cruise full of them. We went to Le Bistro this evening (anniversary package) and had a great meal. I got the surf and turf for a $5 additional charge and we also had things like escargot, forest mushroom soup and salad nicoise with yellow fin tuna. For desert I got the famous chocolate fondue, and by the suggestion of another CC member, I ordered a piece of cheesecake as well and dipped that in the chocolate too. Highly recommended!! Due to the time we scheduled dinner (in advance) we missed both production shows that night unfortunately. So we went to the casino for a while and then Maharini’s and danced until 2am.

 

Day 4 – St. Thomas;

We got up early, but not to go ashore! We scheduled early massages at the spa, we received 10% off as Latitudes members (should go back to 50% NCL!!) I had the Hawaiian Majesty which was wonderful; my SO had the Hot Stone Massage and loved it. Tip: If you see a listing in the Freestyle Daily for something called Live at 5 (which was done on the previous day), stop by to see it or watch it live on TV. During this show, they offered $50 off a Hot Stone Massage if you called the spa by 7 pm; we called and got the discount even though we already had an appointment scheduled!! Excellent! We docked at Crown Bay which really kinda stunk; you have a bit of a taxi ride to get into town. We really did not want to get off in St. Thomas, but my mother wanted a new Llardro, so I had to go look. (Thanks mom.) Since we went in town, we decided to do the Paradise Point tram for the first time (of 5 times in St. Thomas). It was great, the view was awesome. Be aware it is $18 per person, and the credit card machine was not working that day, so we had to walk to Havensight to find an ATM. I don’t know how much it was through the ship. Went back to the ship to sit in the sun and watch the pool games while we sailed away.

 

Went to dinner in a group of 9 and had no wait for a table (about 8 or 8:30). Dinner selections we had included: escargot, Chateaubriand, lobster, clam chowder, pasta with onion and garlic and kiwi ice cream. After dinner we went to a “Wild Night on the Spirit” party in the Galaxy. It was fun, the kind of thing where passengers have to get up and embarrass themselves in front of everyone… this included me. Cutting to the chase, two guys and I won the title “Mr. Norwegian Spirit” due to our amazing ballet skills... ha ha! (I heard about that all week!) I learned to play craps in the casino, and after loosing $100 rather quickly, I also learned I am not good a craps! Prior to dinner, we had found a plate of smoked salmon in our cabin from the Hotel Director!

 

Day 5 – Antigua:

Slept in a little and did not get off the ship until 9 (docked at 7). We hired a cab independently (our group of the usual 6) and went to Jolly Harbor. Beautiful beach and less crowded than Dickenson. The cab cost only $10 per person round trip, and the driver came back exactly when he said he would. The sun was incredibly hot here but the beach and water were superb. We rode on a “banana boat” in the harbor and had a tremendous blast amongst a plethora of “injuries”. There was also a restaurant on the beach (Castaway’s) that served a very good meal. A wonderful day!

 

We then went back to the ship a little early to snag a hot tub for sail away. Later we found a tray of roasted veggies and crostini from the Assistant Hotel Director, yum! We had dinner in the Garden Room for the first time. The restaurant was nice, but I felt it was small and the tables were a lot closer together than in Windows, it was also a lot noisier. After dinner we went to see the Second City (zzzz) and then went to “Club Night” at Maharini’s which was a lot of fun. We met several crew members that we became friends with and hung out with through the rest of the trip.

 

Day 6 – Barbados:

We got off the ship early and hired a taxi to take us to downtown Bridgetown. Wow, what a disappointment. I guess all the good things I hear about Barbados must be about beaches or resorts or something, because downtown was nothing much. We ate and turned around to go back to the ship for our tour. We took the 4x4 Adventure and Green Monkey Encounter, which was a good trip overall, but too long in my book. We liked the Nature Preserve and the monkeys, but there could have been less driving around the island in a VERY uncomfortable vehicle. We went back to the room to change in to swimsuits and found a plate of nice chocolates from the F&B Manager, they were quite tasty! We hung around the pool and played guest vs. staff water volleyball while we left Barbados.

 

We had reservations for Cagney’s this evening and I must say it was worth every penny. The food was prepared perfectly according to the way we asked. We had crab cakes, French onion soup, clam chowder, striploin steak, rib-eye steak, garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus and sinful chocolate cake. Everything was excellent! After dinner we joined friends and crew to see Millennium in the Galaxy of the Stars lounge, these girls can really sing!! Afterwards, we went to the Caribbean Deck Party at the pool deck which was fun but short since so many people went to bed early. I really think NCL needs to rethink having so many big parties late at night (10:45 is pushing it for some of these people apparently). Since the deck party dried up, we went to the casino and then Blue Lagoon for late night snacks. Try the fried rice and wonton soup, both are quite good and the rice is freshly prepared.

 

Day 7 – Grenada:

We met up with our usual group at Raffles for breakfast before going ashore. We went to the big outdoor market and bought spices and stuff to bring home for gifts (useful gifts!). We hired a cab to take us to Morn Rouge beach for a few hours, he came back as planned at 3 pm and then took us on a tour of the island that included Annadale Falls, Fort Fredrick (over looking the harbor) and various other places on the island. All this for $100 for the 6 of us. Afterwards, we went back to the ship to take over a hot tub for sail away and enjoy the sunset and the view. We met up with two of our friends for dinner in the Garden Room again. (Seafood chowder, sashimi salmon with tempura veggies, NY strip steak). After dinner we went to the comedy show, boy was it awful! Two of the four of us actually fell asleep. There was supposed to be an NCL Production show, but due to an illness in the cast it was cancelled. I wish I had known that, I would have walked out on the comedian. Went to the sock hop and ship-n-males in the Galaxy before ending the evening in Maharini’s

Day 8 – Dominica:

We hired another cab with two of our friends and another couple we ran in to near the pier; we agreed on $20 a piece for an island tour. The driver took us first to the Botanical Gardens which he drove us through, I guess there was no need or not enough time to get out and look around. Next we headed to Trafalgar Falls. When we got there, we hiked up to the falls for a breathtaking view and a swim in the basin below the falls. The water was freezing for about 3 seconds, and then it was just wonderful. We hiked back to the driver who then took us to an area with sulfur springs. Part of the springs was free, but to see the Crystal cave and bubbling cavern, there was a $3 charge, the bubbling cavern was worth it. Lastly, the driver took us to Champagne Beach for some snorkeling. This has to be one of the best sites I have ever snorkeled, the fish and coral were amazing, not to mention the “champagne bubbles” coming up from the bottom. (FYI the bubbles come from active hot springs and volcanic action under the surface – pretty cool). After the tour we did just a little shopping and headed back to the ship for our usual hot tub time.

 

Later that evening we attended a private cocktail party at the Art Gallery followed by dinner at Cagney’s in the private VIP dining room. Again a wonderful dinner at Cagney’s, I had the filet minion which was the most perfect one I have ever had. We stopped in Maharini’s after the Super Bowl and partied it up a bit.

 

Day 9 – Tortola:

After going to bed at 3 am we had to get up at 6:30 to meet our tour at 7. We did the Baths and snorkel trip to Virgin Gorda. The snorkeling was disappointing after Champagne Reef, and even more disappointing was that I have no pictures of the Baths. Why? Nowhere does it tell you that you have to swim ashore and back to the boat, so that meant I could not take my camera since the boat did not dock anywhere. Otherwise, the Baths were kind of cool. We got back to the ship around 12 and decided to lie out on the Buccaneer’s deck since there was no time to go in to town. Promptly all 6 of us fell asleep and I got a little burned. We stayed out on deck until about 4 and then retired to the hot tubs as usual for sail away.

 

We went to change for dinner and found yet another plate of food, this time antipasto from the Captain, as well as our anniversary tray of canapés. We met up as a group to go to the Teppanyaki restaurant in Shogun. The food here was again excellent; the only disappointment was that the chef had very little “show” at the table. We went to the “adults only” Second City show at the Galaxy, again, not a great show, it was OK at best. We had a drink or two at Maharini’s and everyone turned in early because we were all exhausted.

 

Days 10 and 11– Sea:

Lazy days at sea. We did not do much as far as organized activities in favor of spending time with the special friends we had met onboard. Fun things we did do included VIP access (only about 15 people) to the Chocolate Buffet, bought several pictures, saw two production shows (both excellent), the pajama party, the crew talent show and lots of hanging out and dancing at Maharini’s. But again our focus was spending the time we had left with the people that helped make our cruise even more special.

Debarkation day – an absolute breeze. Ate breakfast at Raffles and hung out in our cabin until about 9:30 or 10. We walked off the ship no problem other than having to wait for a taxi. HINT: Remember to get a ticket when you get out there or no cab for you. They call the tickets in numerical order to keep it fair.

 

I do want to take a second and say again to DEVIN, CATHY, ILAN, ANDREW, VICKY AND JOE and everyone else we met, if you see this (including crew JOHN, CHRISTOPHER, JASON, PHILLIP, DAWN, REBECCA, LISA, ALEXANDRA etc) thank you so much for making this a trip of a lifetime, and to our group of 6 I swear I will hold up my end of the deal and keep in touch!!! Love to you all!

 

Lastly -

Things I really liked:

 

Maharini’s Lounge – Wow, what a great place to hang out and the décor is amazingly beautiful. Sadly, on this cruise, the crowd was not very into partying. I said several times “the longer the cruise, the older the passengers”, and this seemed to hold true for the entire 11 days. Many parties and activities were poorly attended or ended early due to many people leaving early. But, nonetheless, Maharini’s is a fantastic lounge and I personally think NCL should expand this concept to all their ships and call them all Ultralounges (as in Maharini’s Ultralounge). (Got that NCL???)

 

Knowing that people at NCL and on their ships actually do read Cruise Critic and take note of what we say.

 

NCL Production Cast – energetic and talented! The shows were as good as the JAR shows I have seen in the past. Each show that we saw (At the Hop and Standing Room Only) were short but satisfying.

 

Lots of hot tubs on board!

 

Things I did not like:

 

The CD – David. I thought he was awful, no personality. He tends to mumble and is very hard to understand on stage, or even if you are talking to him face-to-face. He was rarely at many functions, and left most duties to John the ACD. I understand David only filled in for the one cruise as Julie is supposed to be back on the SPIRIT now.

 

The drinks are still kind of weak. I think they could be stronger for the price.

 

Guest entertainers – the comedian and the Second City troupe were both off the mark for us. The comedian was not funny at all and the Second City missed more than they hit. Entertainment is subjective, but in my case (and quite a few others) it just was not there.

 

If you have any questions, just post 'em and I will get back to you ASAP

 

~Intrepid

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Intrepid Guy - Excellent trip report! Great detail, and very fun to read. Thank you! ;)

 

I do have one question. Could you elaborate a bit more with regard to:

Nowhere does it tell you that you have to swim ashore and back to the boat, so that meant I could not take my camera since the boat did not dock anywhere.

We're planning on taking the excursion to the baths when we're on the Dawn in two weeks, and are very curious about this situation!

 

Thanks in advance! :)

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I wanted to add to my review the following. I dont know if I already said it because even I cannot read that again (gosh it really is huge isn't it??) :D but, I had an amazing time. This cruise was definately my favorite so far! A gorgeous ship, beautiful weather and great friends, what more could one ask for?

 

~Intrepid

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I do have one question. Could you elaborate a bit more with regard to:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Intrepid Guy

Nowhere does it tell you that you have to swim ashore and back to the boat, so that meant I could not take my camera since the boat did not dock anywhere.

 

We're planning on taking the excursion to the baths when we're on the Dawn in two weeks, and are very curious about this situation!

 

 

Pepper -

This excursion left directly from the ship to a small catamaran style boat. We sailed about 30 mins to Virgin Gorda. The boat anchored out in the water and we all dove in to swim/snorkel ashore. The boat then left to go to the bay (Devil's Bay??) on the other side of all the big rocks. We walked from the first beach through all the rock formations (a bit tricky at times) to the other beach. There we were able to snorkel more and then swim back to the boat when it was time to leave. My mistake was not having an underwater camera, only my digital one. There was no way to take it onshore or back so I could take pictures of the Baths. I think it should have been suggested maybe in the description of the excursion. I do have nice shots from the boat though.

 

I hope this is clear and answers your questions.

 

~Intrepid

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Intrepid Guy,

Great review, I had a similar voyage on the Spirit in December, so good we are going back on 3/12. We seem the hang out with the same crew members, Jason is a blast, did you get a chance to meet Gene?

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Hey Intrepid, thanks so much for the great review. We, too, are NCL fans and can't wait for our cruise on the Spirit in July. We usually book our cruises in Feb or Mar for a June trip. Having salied the Dawn twice, we were so excited about the Spirit coming to NYC, we booked this cruise last September. So, the wait has been killing me. Your review was well written and detailed. Thank you for obviously taking the time to write a review that was informative and constructive. Oh, how I wish more people would right their reviews as well as yours. Thank you.

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I am thinking of booking Spirit for April. Although it would be for the 7 day Fla/Bahama route vs your route, I do see you were recently off the Carnival Triumph also. I was very dissappointed with my recent Triumph cruise as were my kids, although the whole family LOVED the Victory cruise (for those who do not "Carnival", they are the same exact ship). Would I find a Triumph review over at the CCL boards?

 

We also LOVED sailing on Dawn and DH and kids are afraid they are going to find the same situation. Your review and the posting from another CC member with the pics of Spirit (in Seattle) are very reassuring!!!! :)

 

Thanks!!! Sue

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OK, lets see... first of all, I am going to try to get around to scanning my dailies this weekend (maybe!!!) and get them online for you all to see, even though this was the last 11 day for a while... also, there will be some pictures as well... but I really do have a lot of laundry and such to do. And, get this, I have to make my own bed and my own dinner... :mad:

 

Great review, I had a similar voyage on the Spirit in December, so good we are going back on 3/12. We seem the hang out with the same crew members, Jason is a blast, did you get a chance to meet Gene?

 

boxerjake - YES! I did meet Gene and hang out a bit, though not as much as with Jason. I actually had a little mental lapse when it came to his name. Jason was a hoot though!

 

Oh, how I wish more people would right their reviews as well as yours. Thank you.

 

logcabin - Thanks for the compliment, I thought I went overboard. I think you will LOVE the SPIRIT!!!

 

Would I find a Triumph review over at the CCL boards?

 

Suesun - I dont think I ever bothered to write one and post it. I figured I would be shreaded. I actually didnt hate it, I just didnt like it. I find NCL suits me much better than Carnival. It was nice to get back on an NCL ship!

 

~Intrepid

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Suesun - I dont think I ever bothered to write one and post it. I figured I would be shreaded. I actually didnt hate it, I just didnt like it. I find NCL suits me much better than Carnival. It was nice to get back on an NCL ship!

 

~Intrepid__________________

 

 

Intrepid......tomorrow my reservations are going to be confirmed for 04/06 sailing on Spirit. I do believe I will be bringing my family back to a "comfy slipper" rather than "an old shoe". You said it well....didn't HATE it...just didn't like it. I am so looking forward to NCL again!!

 

Sue.

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Pepper -

This excursion left directly from the ship to a small catamaran style boat. We sailed about 30 mins to Virgin Gorda. The boat anchored out in the water and we all dove in to swim/snorkel ashore. The boat then left to go to the bay (Devil's Bay??) on the other side of all the big rocks. We walked from the first beach through all the rock formations (a bit tricky at times) to the other beach. There we were able to snorkel more and then swim back to the boat when it was time to leave. My mistake was not having an underwater camera, only my digital one. There was no way to take it onshore or back so I could take pictures of the Baths. I think it should have been suggested maybe in the description of the excursion. I do have nice shots from the boat though.

 

I hope this is clear and answers your questions.

 

~Intrepid

 

Imtrepidguy,

Exact same thing happened to us last spring. Digital camera, but not waterproof.

 

The snorkling was good. Next time, we will have the right gear. It would have been nice to know before hand, just as you had suggested.

 

Nice review. Similar itinerary to what we sailed last spring. Glad top see that they are continuing that itinerary into the foreseeable future!

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Okay, Intrepid, I found the review- nicely done! It is so awesome to read such a positive review about a ship and staff I know to be TOP NOTCH.

 

How come you didn't post it in the reviews section???

 

So I wonder how I can alert them to my review on cruise-chat? MAN! I would love to be recognized like that. I must have posted 100 links to it on this site. You must have felt like a media darling!

 

Well, like everyone else has said, I CAN'T WAIT. Thanks so much for the validation.

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Thank you for a great review. We are going April 2nd to celebrate our anniversary. A first time on this ship. I am sure we will love this ship as much as the Dawn.

 

 

What is the anniversary package.

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Thanks for the great review.. We are leaving on 2/19 and after reading many bad reviews, I'm glad to see a good one (I was getting very nervous). This will be our 4th NCL and we are really looking foward to sailing the Spirit.

 

Thanks again for taking the time to write this review.

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I was starting to get a little concerned about my upcoming cruise with my 11 year old daughter next week. I'm so glad that you wrote this informative review. Do you know anything about the kid's club? Since I'm leaving my DSs and DH at home, I'm a little worried about having time to do grown up things and my daughter having time to do kids things in a safe and supervised environment. As much as I love her, I don't think that either one of us wants 24 hours/day of quality time with just each other. However, I am a worry wart and do not want her wandering around the ship alone either. Any feedback there? Thanks in advance, Rose:)

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Things I really liked:

 

Maharini’s Lounge – Wow, what a great place to hang out and the décor is amazingly beautiful. Sadly, on this cruise, the crowd was not very into partying. I said several times “the longer the cruise, the older the passengers”, and this seemed to hold true for the entire 11 days. Many parties and activities were poorly attended or ended early due to many people leaving early. But, nonetheless, Maharini’s is a fantastic lounge and I personally think NCL should expand this concept to all their ships and call them all Ultralounges (as in Maharini’s Ultralounge). (Got that NCL???)

 

Knowing that people at NCL and on their ships actually do read Cruise Critic and take note of what we say.

 

NCL Production Cast – energetic and talented! The shows were as good as the JAR shows I have seen in the past. Each show that we saw (At the Hop and Standing Room Only) were short but satisfying.

 

Lots of hot tubs on board!

 

Things I did not like:

 

The CD – David. I thought he was awful, no personality. He tends to mumble and is very hard to understand on stage, or even if you are talking to him face-to-face. He was rarely at many functions, and left most duties to John the ACD. I understand David only filled in for the one cruise as Julie is supposed to be back on the SPIRIT now.

 

The drinks are still kind of weak. I think they could be stronger for the price.

 

Guest entertainers – the comedian and the Second City troupe were both off the mark for us. The comedian was not funny at all and the Second City missed more than they hit. Entertainment is subjective, but in my case (and quite a few others) it just was not there.

 

~Intrepid

 

It's interesting to read your comments. My hubby and I were on the same sailing and although we liked the Spirit we can't recommend it as highly as you...but then we weren't getting special treatment from NCL :)

 

Just for comparison purposes,

 

Maharini's Lounge -- it was okay but I don't think anything special

 

Yes, it is nice to know that NCL reads CC.

 

We skipped the production shows as they really aren't our thing.

 

Lots of hot tubs are a good thing.

 

We didn't like David either.

 

I didn't have a problem with the drinks. I think the only place I ordred a mixed drink was at the beer garden and the bartenders there were great.

 

We liked the guest entertainers. They weren't great but they did keep us entertained. But, yes, a few of the Second City jokes did fall flat.

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Do you know anything about the kid's club? Since I'm leaving my DSs and DH at home, I'm a little worried about having time to do grown up things and my daughter having time to do kids things in a safe and supervised environment

 

cafe rose - as I dont have any children, I cannot speak first hand, but what I can tell you is this. The SPIRIT has one of the largest childrens areas of any NCL ship (from what I understand). I could not go into the children's area, as it was an adults prohibited area, but from what I could see it was quite large. In addition, there is a great children's pool area on deck 10 aft called Buccaneers Wet and Wild with a good size pool, water slides, water cannons, and a hot tub as well. There is also a video arcade with many games, some that cost money, some that dont (since they could not convert the machines to take American $). From all I have heard, NCL treats the children very well and there are many activities. Hopefully, someone can answer this more specifically for you.

 

It's interesting to read your comments. My hubby and I were on the same sailing and although we liked the Spirit we can't recommend it as highly as you...but then we weren't getting special treatment from NCL

Just for comparison purposes,

Maharini's Lounge -- it was okay but I don't think anything special

Yes, it is nice to know that NCL reads CC.

We skipped the production shows as they really aren't our thing.

Lots of hot tubs are a good thing.

We didn't like David either.

I didn't have a problem with the drinks. I think the only place I ordred a mixed drink was at the beer garden and the bartenders there were great.

We liked the guest entertainers. They weren't great but they did keep us entertained. But, yes, a few of the Second City jokes did fall flat.

 

Last Mango - thanks for your opinions too... I do have to say, though, I dont feel that I was really swayed by the "nice" things NCL did for me, honestly, I tried to stay objective. Not that I think you are saying "anything" but I want to be clear. They did not buy my vote, they already had it and this cruise solidified it more for me. Really, all those things were just "nice to have's" and not make or break issues. My impressions of the cruise are a bit broader than that and really rely on each day as a whole and the trip as a whole. In total, I had a blast. I think it seems you did too.

You really did not think Maharini's was cool, eh? I thought the concept and execution were great! Admittedly, it never got really rockin' in there, but I think there is a lot of potential in the concept.

I thought the bartenders were great too, but the fact that they keep so close to that one shot per drink rule was kind of disappointing.

 

~Intrepid

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I also learned from experience on this day that if you order a drink (in my case, for example, a vodka tonic) and do not specify the vodka, you may end up with Grey Goose! For $10 a pop. I learned very quickly to say “house vodka”, because not every server will ask you, especially this one woman in Champagne Charlie’s. I actually saw her take a friend’s drink order for a cosmopolitan and she told the bartender “Cosmo with Grey Goose”. Needles to say, I told my friend and he changed his order!

 

Hi Intrepid Guy, You make me so jealous..how does one get the VIP treatment on NCL!? Also, I'm a little confused by your vodka incident. Isn't the house vodka usually of low grade quality. Grey Goose is one of the better vodkas and I've had to pay more for it on other cruises. What was the house vodka by the way?

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Also, I'm a little confused by your vodka incident. Isn't the house vodka usually of low grade quality. Grey Goose is one of the better vodkas and I've had to pay more for it on other cruises. What was the house vodka by the way?

 

Andrew - Yes, the house vodka is a lower grade. It used to be Finlandia, but they changed to Gilbeys for some reason... still this isnt as bad as rail at most bars. And to be honest, Gilbeys was 5.50 per drink and Grey Goose was 10.00 or so. After 11 days, I saved a bundle drinking the Gilbeys instead!!!!:cool:

 

~Intrepid

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Andrew - Yes, the house vodka is a lower grade. It used to be Finlandia, but they changed to Gilbeys for some reason... still this isnt as bad as rail at most bars. And to be honest, Gilbeys was 5.50 per drink and Grey Goose was 10.00 or so. After 11 days, I saved a bundle drinking the Gilbeys instead!!!!:cool:

 

~Intrepid

 

I've never requested a specific vodka so if I ordered a traditional vodka martini on NCL without mentioning the vodka, they would give me the lowest grade vodka and I would pay half as much as the lady who ordered a Cosmo with Grey Goose? I assume the martini hours where the drinks are 4.95 will be Gilbey's then..thanks for this information, andrew.

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I've never requested a specific vodka so if I ordered a traditional vodka martini on NCL without mentioning the vodka, they would give me the lowest grade vodka and I would pay half as much as the lady who ordered a Cosmo with Grey Goose? I assume the martini hours where the drinks are 4.95 will be Gilbey's then..thanks for this information, andrew.

 

Andrew - yes this is all true, but remember the actual problem is, sometimes if you do not mention a vodka, they will automatically give you the high priced stuff!!! :eek: :eek:

 

~Intrepid

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Andrew - yes this is all true, but remember the actual problem is, sometimes if you do not mention a vodka, they will automatically give you the high priced stuff!!! :eek: :eek:

 

~Intrepid

 

OK, now I think I get it..so I might arrive for the $4.95 martini hour special but when the bill comes it's double the price because they put Grey Goose in it?

 

andrew, who's a little foggy tonight

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I really enjoyed your review as I now have a better "feel" for the ship. I wish we were doing your itinerary instead of Bahamas but I've been to all "your" ports. I agree with Barbados...downtown leaves a lot to be desired..

 

The food sounds wonderful and I'm getting more excited after reading your review..I had heard that you have to book restaurants as soon as you board. I know we want to try Cagney's.

 

We have a Deck 11 balcony and hope that March will be a bit warmer than January. Maybe we'll get lucky and have concierge service also!!!!

 

Thanks again.....Pam

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