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patnjohn

Spirit 6/11-17- Another mini review

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Embarkation was a breeze. Went to Windows for lunch. Very nice. Room was ok. Only problem, walls are paper thin. You can hear everything the people in the next cabin are saying, whether you want to or not. We did not want to hear them!!! Our rooms were not turned down or towels changed on 2 nights.

 

Windows & Garden food was better than I thought it would be. Every afternoon we would make our night time reservations in these 2 venues. Not wait. Went to Cagneys & Le Bistro. Liked both. Cagneys filet mignon was absolutely wonderful. Le Bistro chocolate fondue the same. Raffles was ok. Missed the trays though.

 

Trying to get off the ship at private Island at night - a true nightmare!!!! We were held captive on deck 3 in a hallway from forward to mid ship. Could not get off this line if you wanted to. Waited well over an hour to get on tender. Seems people coming down stairs & elevator (mid ship) were filtered in. By the time we got there we missed the limbo & a few other things. The band played loud loud loud hip hop, rap crap. Not to our liking at all. They served pizza & cookies. Of course drinks were available for a price. I actually burst into tears when we tried to get a tender back & there were hundreds of others in front of us on line. Next day was better. IMHO the Island is too small. Very very crowded. Cheezy man dressed in a tux with drinks on a tray walking around in the water, with -show else- THE PHOTOGRAPHER.

 

Debarkation was a nightmare too. Not NCL fault. 3 ships in at the same time.

 

Enjoyed the entertainment & shows.

 

There was an outlet by the desk that took regular hair dryers, etc. No need for a convertor. I returned mine when we got back, as no need to use it.

 

All in all - I missed set time dining. It is nice to have a conversation with other people & to get to know others. Just a personal thing. Have been married 39 years & go out to dinner 2-3 nights week with DH, so this was more of the same.

 

We are cancelling our 11 nighter on the Dawn & booking Celebrity again. What can I say, we are spoiled & love it.

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You enjoyed dining in two speciality restaurants with your husband intimately, yet, still complained about not having a set dining time with others in the main dining rooms? You want it both ways...

 

Didn't you enjoy dining at the time you wished? Didn't you enjoy booking reservations at the speciality restaurant at the time you wished? That's what freestyle is all about, your time not theirs.

 

Maybe you never had to accept a sitting time on another cruise line that you didn't want, either late or early. Maybe you never had the others sitting at your table not come back to the main dining room after the first night, preferring to dine on hamburgers and pizza instead at the buffet.

 

And if you wished to dine with other in the main dining rooms, you could have asked to dine with others who wished to too.

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Thanks for the info on the outlets. I've read a few reviews now that stated there was no problem. Thanks.

 

I understand what you mean about the dinner mates. I cruise most of the time with my mother and we also miss that some.

 

As for what Don Haynes said, it's really not as easy as you say. The ships made for freestyle tend to just sit a party of two alone at a table for two. If you ask for a large table to sit with others and don't have a large group with you they look at you like you have a third head. On the NCL Sea this wasn't a problem but on the Dawn and Star it was. We've done it.

 

Patnjohn said she liked the food at the speciality restaurants not sitting alone.

 

With all that said I still prefer the freestyle but I can see where others would prefer a set time. This cruise is the first with my SO and I'm looking forward to a table for two.

 

Thanks for posting your review. I plan to stay on the ship at P.C. and GSC.

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Hey Pat wait a minute my DD and I had our picture taken with that cheezy guy in the tux :D. Great to meet you and your DH. My sentiments exactly on the tender. What a bummer that was. We supposedly had a priority tender because we were in the AC....no such thing. By the time we got to the tender is was just about filled. There were numerous people already on the island by the time our tender arrived. They took all suite guests down the service elevator and mixed them into the line.

 

All in all, a good trip. Could have done better with the food though.

 

Take care...

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We enjoyed the whole freestyle aspect of NCL. It was especially great when we would make plans to catch a show (either early or late) and thus plan our dinner accordingly. Even if you ate during one of the early seating times, you can always catch a late dinner in one of the restaurants. And, we enjoyed having dinners with just the two of us. But everyone has their preference (I'm sorry this wasn't yours).

As for getting to and out of the island was difficult. But keep in mind one of their tenders broke, but by end of the night (i think around 1030 or 11pm) they got it back running. If you are not in a rush, I would recommend to check our the show of alfred and seymour, they were hysterical. After the show, we headed straight to the tender (we got in at deck 4 i think) and had no problems at all. Maybe it was the time or just pure luck, but had no problem getting in the boat and the island). Getting back was a differnt story. Took much longer, but made best of it and just enjoyed the view of the ship all lit up from a far. Glad you still had a great time though.

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I can certainly understand the tenderig problem. We had the same mess on RCCL a few years ago. Just more people than can be taken care of and most all of them at the same time. We cruised on the Spirit in February with another couple and just loved it. Some nights we ate as a foursome and other nights we requested, and got, seating with others. I was perfect for us. That being said, our next cruise is booked with Princess. I think that in general they do a better all around job.

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The one picture I bought on the ship was that of my daughter with " the cheezy waiter". I love freestyle dining, I would have a hard time going back to traditional seating. I'm sorry to hear you cancelled the Dawn, but maybe freestyle isn't for everyone.

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First off - Don Hayes - Why so hostile?

 

We really enjoyed this cruise. Especially Rickie Matthews. He was the greatest CD we have ever come across. Shows were great too. I agree Syemour & Alfred & also the magician/comedienne from Saved by the Bell were great! The price was also very good. The next weeks were much more expensive. I think we got more than we paid for.

 

Freestyle is not for everyone. I had no trouble making reservations at any of the venues. Never had to wait for a table. Just missed the company of others. The tables were pretty close together, so we did have some dinner conversations & met some really nice people. We met on couple at Cagney's & spent a lot of time with them on the ship. All the waiters were wonderful. It is just a personal choice. After all, this is America where we have such freedoms. A lovely place to live where everyone can be happy ini whatever they choose.

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I think someone woke up cranky - very high hostility rating.

 

P&J we agree with your review. We really felt that this was a price point cruise for us. At ~450 pp for a week, we really didn't expect much but got more than we thought we would. We took our niece (14) and nephew (10) and unfortunately got the cabin next to the loudest, drunkest, angriest man on board. We were inside on deck 10 and the first two evenings, around midnight, got treated to the EXTREMELY loud and disturbing romps of one said individual. Luckily, the kids couldn't make out the drunken utterings, but I'll just say, WOW.

 

The reception staff was kind enough to change our cabin and we didn't have any more 'neighborly issues'.

 

We were on the Dawn last year and so was Ricky Matthews. We were thrilled to see him again on the Spirit. I completely concur that he is the best CD we've seen.

 

We got in line for GSC evening tender, but bailed after not moving for 15 minutes. The next day was much smoother and we enjoyed GSC very much.

 

As far as freestyle cruising goes, we like it. We're not terribly social anyway and always request a table for 2 on more traditional lines. NCL is no Celebrity, that's for sure, but for the price, I have to say, not too bad.

 

Enjoy the 11 day.

 

 

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Embarkation was a breeze. Went to Windows for lunch. Very nice. Room was ok. Only problem, walls are paper thin. You can hear everything the people in the next cabin are saying, whether you want to or not. We did not want to hear them!!! Our rooms were not turned down or towels changed on 2 nights.

 

Windows & Garden food was better than I thought it would be. Every afternoon we would make our night time reservations in these 2 venues. Not wait. Went to Cagneys & Le Bistro. Liked both. Cagneys filet mignon was absolutely wonderful. Le Bistro chocolate fondue the same. Raffles was ok. Missed the trays though.

 

Trying to get off the ship at private Island at night - a true nightmare!!!! We were held captive on deck 3 in a hallway from forward to mid ship. Could not get off this line if you wanted to. Waited well over an hour to get on tender. Seems people coming down stairs & elevator (mid ship) were filtered in. By the time we got there we missed the limbo & a few other things. The band played loud loud loud hip hop, rap crap. Not to our liking at all. They served pizza & cookies. Of course drinks were available for a price. I actually burst into tears when we tried to get a tender back & there were hundreds of others in front of us on line. Next day was better. IMHO the Island is too small. Very very crowded. Cheezy man dressed in a tux with drinks on a tray walking around in the water, with -show else- THE PHOTOGRAPHER.

 

Debarkation was a nightmare too. Not NCL fault. 3 ships in at the same time.

 

Enjoyed the entertainment & shows.

 

There was an outlet by the desk that took regular hair dryers, etc. No need for a convertor. I returned mine when we got back, as no need to use it.

 

All in all - I missed set time dining. It is nice to have a conversation with other people & to get to know others. Just a personal thing. Have been married 39 years & go out to dinner 2-3 nights week with DH, so this was more of the same.

 

We are cancelling our 11 nighter on the Dawn & booking Celebrity again. What can I say, we are spoiled & love it.

 

I just went on the Dawn and the walls were not paper thin..........food was excellent, room stewards were fantastic, waitress and waiters also....we enjoyed it so much we're going again.....not all NCL ships are the same....

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It was nice meeting you guys at the CC meeting! I do believe that for the price it was a good deal... you can't expect perfection for that amount of money..however I really believe if they made the food better it would end up costing them less... think of all the waste! I would order two entrees because it was a fifty fifty chance that I wouldn't like one and I was right. there was only one night that I like both and had my brother help me it it;) well I am glad I did it but probably won't do it again... Jean

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:) Patnjohn-Do you remember the name of the Hotel Director? Was it Hugo? We're leaving on the 24th and would love to see him again. Glad to read a positive review of the ship, esp. the food. I have never read such a range of opinions regarding food! Thanks.

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teach62-yes I am sure his name was Hugo. He came to our CC meeting & handed out cards. I am at work & the card is at home. He was a very very nice man. All the officers were. Especially the Captain. Very approachable & down to earth & young. Also, the food director (don't know exact title) was wonderful. I called him Shrek because he was large, bald & had big ears. A very nice man, sorry his name escapes me. He was all over all the dining venues & always checking on everything. Have a great cruise!

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teach,

 

Hugo will be back on the Dawn when you're on the Spirit.

 

Have a wonderful trip. After several trips on the Dawn (and going back), we enjoyed experiencing the Spirit. Please come back & tell us all about it.:D

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knowing the concept of freestyle crusing and perfering to have set dinner times and company why book in the first place, another example of a bad review that was doomed from the start !!

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HI there.

 

I was on the Spirit May 28th. The tender "Broke" that week also! Something seems a little strange here. Well, I think the lesson to all future Spirit cruisers is unfortunately to expect the worse when it comes to tendering over to the Private Island.

 

We had a bad experience as well.

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Did not know anything but set dinner times. Wanted to try freestyle to see if it's what we would like or not. If we never tried, how would we know. That's why we booked a short inexpensive trip - just to try the concept. Everyone is at a different place in their lives & have different tastes. Sorry if I offended anyone by saying that freestyle was not for us. It is still a free country, Isn't it?

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Hi guys,

 

One thing I can say was we were off the ship in maybe 20 minutes tops and out of the city and in New Jersey in about 10 minutes.

 

We did self disembarking. No problem. As soon as the ship stop at the pier we (me,my husband,my 7yr old daughter) rolled our all our luggage to deck seven ,and tried not to lose my wild 3yr old son,and they had us line up in the green carpet area, then out on the deck to the plank. This was around 9:35am. They let the crew off...My kids waved to their favorite Kids Crew Members, we even got to wave a funny goodbye to Alfred and Seymour...they were the funniest!!!

Then we started to move, they scanned our room keys and off we went.

No baggage check, no metal detectors ...we just walked right off into the terminal up the escalator onto the deck and into our car. IT WAS THE EASIEST and THE BEST THING that happened ON OUR JUNE 11th cruise. We were in New Jersey by 10:30 am...I heard it didn't go to smoothly for others.

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Which spirit cruise did you do. the 6 or 8 night? We are thinking about the 8 night in march . Where did everyone park while they were on the cruise? Is there a long term lot if you are driving in? Has anyone gone on this cruise in March or there abouts. I was wondering how long you cruised before the weather was warm outside. People have told me it was a bad time to go because it was cold.

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My DH left me & our luggage at the pier. A porter took the luggage from me & transported it to ship. I waited while DH parked in the lot next to the ship. I think it was $12 a day. When we returned, we found our car safe & sound in the lot. Secure lot.

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Did not know anything but set dinner times. Wanted to try freestyle to see if it's what we would like or not. If we never tried, how would we know. That's why we booked a short inexpensive trip - just to try the concept. Everyone is at a different place in their lives & have different tastes. Sorry if I offended anyone by saying that freestyle was not for us. It is still a free country, Isn't it?

 

PatnJohn,

Nothing wrong with not finding freestyle to your tastes. I really could do either way, I just love to cruise anyway, anytime, but my husband after a second NCL cruise said he prefers the set times. We really never waited for a table at the Garden or Window restaurant, but he enjoys having the same servers, getting to know them and they getting to know your likes and dislikes. On a side note, we did notice that they check you sign and sail card everytime you enter and are convinced they give you tables based on your cabin level or something. They did keep seating us just to the right of the front door away from the windows. We eventually requested certain sections and to be near a window and they relunctantly seated us as requested. My favorite meal was of course the lobster night and second was breakfast on the last day of cruise, we sat by the window and watched the Verrazano and Statue of Liberty go by.

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They check your card on the way into the dining rooms? That must be something new!!! They never did that to us on the Dawn. Does anyone know what that is all about?

 

Jeanne

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They check your card on the way into the dining rooms? That must be something new!!! They never did that to us on the Dawn. Does anyone know what that is all about?

 

Jeanne

 

Yup, everytime we went into Windows or Garden they would swipe your card. We asked about it at the Cruise Critic meeting, when all the officers were there. There was no real reason given, my husband is convinced of a conspiracy to keep all the good tables for the more expensive cabins or maybe they are reading what kind of lattitudes member you are (level bronze or gold).

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